It is a privilege to be named an NBA All-Star. And this year’s All-Star Game in Chicago will be even more special with the NBA celebrating the life of the late Kobe Bryant, an 18-time All-Star.
Unfortunately, there are only 24 All-Star spots. With the NBA announcing the reserves on Thursday, The Undefeated presents its third annual NBA All-Snub team – our squad of deserving players who didn’t make the cut (which would have been harder had Kyrie Irving and Paul George been healthier this season).
And as a consolation prize, The Undefeated would love to offer our esteemed list of snubs one of our black-and-yellow dad hats, fly hoodies and a pair of cool socks to wear during a vacation, one we hope is in a location a lot warmer than frigid Chicago.
Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
Season statistics: 28.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 6.3 APG
Bradley Beal not being named an All-Star is somewhat surprising considering he is the league’s sixth-leading scorer at 28.6 points per game. But the two-time All-Star plays for the hapless Washington Wizards, who entered Thursday with a 15-31 record sans injured guard John Wall. If there’s a need for an injury replacement in the East, Beal would likely be atop that list.
Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns
Season statistics: 27.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 6.4 APG
Devin Booker ranks eighth in the NBA in scoring at 27.1 points per game. He is one of the league’s most feared shooters, hitting 37% of his 3s and more than 50% of his shots from the field overall. The only thing that truly can be held against Booker is that his Phoenix Suns still have one of the league’s worst records. Booker’s first All-Star appearance will have to wait.
Jaylen Brown, G, Boston Celtics
Season statistics: 20.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.4 APG
Jaylen Brown is having a career year, averaging 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds on a Boston Celtics team with a lot of offensive weapons. But with Boston owning the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference, it would be hard to justify allowing the storied franchise to have three All-Stars. (Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum were named reserves.) Like Booker, keep an eye out for the 23-year-old to make his first All-Star appearance in the coming years.
DeMar DeRozan, G, San Antonio Spurs
Season statistics: 23.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 5.2 APG
DeMar DeRozan is averaging a well-rounded 23 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game for the San Antonio Spurs, while shooting a career-best 53.5% from the field. But the Spurs’ disappointing 21-26 record likely didn’t help DeRozan. In a crowded field of talented guards in the West, the four-time All-Star makes our snub list for the second straight year.
Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls
Season statistics: 25.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.0 APG
Zach LaVine was the Chicago Bulls’ only hope of having one of their players in the All-Star Game. The high-flying guard is averaging 25.1 points per game on the season and 28.9 in January. But these aren’t Michael Jordan’s Bulls. Their record is 19-31. Chicago fans can still hold out hope that LaVine will participate in the slam dunk contest.
Lou Williams, G, Los Angeles Clippers
Season statistics: 19.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 6.0 APG
The LA Clippers deserved more than just one All-Star (Kawhi Leonard) with the second-best record in the West. So if coaches wanted to hold it against Paul George for his missed games, they should have chosen Lou Williams for how he has continued to shine off the bench. Williams is averaging 19.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 3-pointers made in 30 minutes per game.
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons
Season statistics: 17.2 PPG, 15.6 RPG, 2.8 APG
Andre Drummond, a two-time All-Star, averages a league-best 15.6 rebounds per game, as well as 15.6 points, 2.8 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. It is hard to be more well-rounded statistically than that. But with the Detroit Pistons owning a disappointing 17-32 record, Drummond is a tough snub.
Ja Morant, G, Memphis Grizzlies
Season statistics: 17.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 7.2 APG
The leading candidate for rookie of the year has turned the rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies into a playoff contender. But with a long list of veteran guards in the West, Ja Morant will have to settle for our snub list. His time as an NBA All-Star will soon come.