Some players can’t help but feel snubbed.
The reserves for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game have been announced, and 14 players will join the 10 starters in Salt Lake City, Utah come Feb. 19.
But out of those 14, not every player stamped a clear-cut case to warrant a ticket to Utah.
Let’s take a look at the five biggest snubs from the 2023 announcement, along with whose spot should’ve been theirs:
The Kings saw Domantas Sabonis earn his spot as a reserve after being a questionable snub from the starters’ list, but fellow teammate De’Aaron Fox did not join him.
Fox, who is arguably the biggest snub this season, is averaging 24.3 points, 6.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds on a 51/33/79 shooting split for the Western Conference’s surprising No. 3 seed, along with being the league’s best scorer in clutch time.
The conference is loaded with star guards, and Ja Morant, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Damian Lillard all deserved a spot, but Fox simply should’ve made the cut. He’s been posting All-Star-caliber numbers for multiple seasons now, but when the Kings are finally legit, he’s still shut out.
Who should’ve Fox replaced? Jaren Jackson Jr. in the wild card spot.
The 76ers are essentially the Eastern Conference version of the Kings in this sense. Joel Embiid made the reserves team after being left off the starting list – which in all fairness was a tough call given the competition – but the team’s marquee guard was left off completely.
James Harden’s streak of 10 consecutive selections came to a halt despite being a key piece to the team’s rise to the No. 3 seed after an underwhelming start. He’s averaging 21.4 points, 11.0 assists and 6.4 rebounds on a 45/39/86 shooting split.
He might’ve been the last pick of the All-Star draft in 2022 – mainly because of LeBron James’ purposeful tactics against fellow captain Kevin Durant – but Harden should’ve been one of the guards to make the cut.
Who should’ve Harden replaced? Jrue Holiday as the second guard.
Toronto might be out of the play-in tournament picture as things stand, but that shouldn’t have come to the detriment of Pascal Siakam, who has been massively influential in the team not being worse than it currently is.
Siakam is averaging 24.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 43 games – he’s also leading the league in minutes played – with a shooting split of 47/31/77. Yes, the Raptors’ record may have hindered his case, but if he maintains these numbers for the rest of the season, he’d be the first player to average 25/8/6 and not receive an All-Star nod.
Players with at least 1,000 points, 250 rebounds and 250 assists this season include LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Siakam. The first three are All-Star starters in 2023.
Who should’ve Siakam replaced? Julius Randle in the wild card spot.
The Hawks are just about as average as you can get in the NBA – literally. But Trae Young has been doing his part in a team that has yet to take the next step after peaking in the playoffs two seasons ago.
Young is the only player in the NBA averaging more than 27 points and nine assists per game, with his statline currently at 27.0 points, 9.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds on a 43/32/87 shooting split.
It’s not the first time, though, to see Young miss out despite boasting strong statistics, which is undoubtedly a blow for the former Sooner.
Who should’ve Young replaced? Jrue Holiday or, arguably, Tyrese Haliburton.
Karl-Anthony Towns has been out since November, but the Timberwolves have hovered around or above .500 largely thanks to their young star Anthony Edwards.
The 2020 No. 1 overall pick has put the team on his shoulders following their playoff appearance last year, and is currently averaging 25 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists on a 46/37/77 shooting split.
Edwards has played in every single game thus far and Minnesota is currently above safety from a play-in spot – to not see any recognition for it must sting.
Who should’ve Edwards replaced? Edwards is considered a guard on the voting sheet, but he should’ve been in Paul George’s forward spot.
Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks – The Knicks are currently in the playoff picture and are right below the elite teams of the conference, which feels just about right. Brunson thus far has proved he’s worth the significant money New York paid him in free agency, but not being a bonafide star for multiple seasons is likely why he missed out. He could’ve also taken Holiday’s spot.
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers – Well, if you were going to pick a big man who has missed some time with injuries this season, you could’ve gone for Anthony Davis, who has averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds in 28 games in Hollywood this season. The injuries have remained as usual, but he’s been phenomenal whenever he does play. He could’ve been in Jackson’s spot as a big man alternative, but below Fox if it came down to the two.
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