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The Biggest Snubs From The 2024 NBA All-Star Selections

Zachary Yuan

Domantis Sabonis, one the biggest snubs from the 2024 NBA All-Star games.


The 2024 NBA All-Star games took place on February 18 at Indianapolis. There will be many fun events, including the slam dunk contest, a three-point contest between Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu, celebrity games, the rising star challenge, the skills challenge, and the G-league all-star game. The weekend wraps up with the NBA all-star game, where the best players from the Eastern and Western conferences face off. The players in this game have already been decided, with Giannis Antetekoumpo and Lebron James captaining the Eastern and Western conferences, respectively. The All-Star starters are voted in by fans, players, and the media, while the reserves are voted in by the coaches. Even though the list is star-studded, many other talented players weren’t selected for the All-Star game for various reasons. Here, we list the four biggest All-Star snubs from the East and West conferences for the 2023-24 season. 


East


Trae Young, G (Atlanta Hawks)


Even though Ice Trae did make the team as an injury replacement, he wasn’t initially selected, which was a shocker. The fact that he’s been snubbed is surprising but not surprising at the same time. One of the main reasons why Young didn’t make the All-Star game is because of the Atlanta Hawks’ abysmal record (24-30). People have laid all the blame for the Atlanta Hawks’ shortcomings at Young’s feet for most of his career, which has felt very unfair when he’s putting up All-Star numbers on the court, ranks tenth in average points per game (27.0), and second in assists per game (10.9). In fact, he’s the only player in the league averaging 25+ points and 10+ assists per game. However, he has a reputation for being a poor defender and is criticized for his foul-drawing style of play. Young isn’t exactly the most beloved player in the league and given that the all-star bench players were selected by the coaches, this could be another reason behind his snub. 


Derrick White, G (Boston Celtics)


Even though Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are already All-Stars, there’s nothing wrong with the team getting multiple All-Stars. And one person playing on almost the same level as Tatum and Brown is Derrick White. White’s two-way brilliance is a crucial piece in the Celtic’s machine, which has a record of 41-12 this season and is currently the best team in the league. First of all, he’s the second best defensive backcourt player in the Eastern Conference and a huge factor behind the Celtic’s second-ranked defense in the league. White leads the Celtics in both defensive estimate plus-minus, and defensive rating swing (the difference between a team's points allowed per 100 possessions when a given player is on or off the floor). Moreover, White has the most assists per game on the Celtics, and he’s a very reliable catch-and-shoot three pointer option for the Celtics, shooting 40 percent from deep. 


Scottie Barnes, F (Toronto Raptors)


Scottie Barnes has been amazing this year, yet he’s another player whose success is shadowed by their team’s underwhelming season. As the Raptors took a nosedive in January, plummeting to 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 19-35 record, Barnes is putting up incredible numbers at 20 points, eight rebounds, and six assists per game. The 21-year-old has blossomed into one of the most versatile forwards in the game in his third season, and he’s shown clear improvement in his three-point percentage, playmaking and passing, and his willingness to play aggressively. One weak spot that Barnes has is his defense, yet if he works on that, he is a clear talent who could definitely make the All-Star selections in the future. 


Kristaps Porzingis, C (Boston Celtics)


Another Celtics player worth mentioning is Kristaps Porzingis. As the Celtics boast the NBA’s record, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as All-Stars and Derrick White a contender, it seems like there’s little room for Porzingis. However, it’s worth mentioning that Porzingis is a crucial part of this incredible Boston offense and unlocks a new level compared to last year’s Celtics team. Even though Porzingis doesn’t have amazing numbers, averaging 20 points, seven rebounds, two blocks, and shooting 36 from three, these stats are incredible given he’s a Center. Porzingis excels at his three-point shooting, and he’s having the best efficiency in his career. He provides the Celtics with not only more floor spacing from his center position but also cutting and pick-and-pop at the rim. With the addition of an incredible big man, the Celtics team looks unstoppable. Ultimately though, his lower games played in total, and his numbers below the other All-Star candidates kept him off the roster. 


West


Domantas Sabonis, F (Sacramento Kings)


Domantas Sabonis is arguably the biggest All-Star snub this season. Perhaps this is in part due to the Sacramento Kings’ mediocre defense this year or because the West is loaded with elite frontcourt players. But this is still a shock as he’s ranked top 10 in both BPM (Box Plus-Minus) and VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) this season and leads the league with over 13 rebounds per game. He’s currently averaging 20 points, eight assists, and shooting over 61 percent from the floor, and the only players his height or taller in NBA history to exceed his eight assists for an entire season are Nikola Jokic, Wilt Chamberlain, and Ben Simmons. Furthermore, Sabonis is a great player in all aspects, and he’s just one triple-double behind Jokic this season. 


James Harden, G (LA Clippers)


Yes, James Harden. He’s a 10-time NBA All-Star and an NBA MVP, and once one of the best players in the league. However, he has fallen off greatly after being traded to the Brooklyn Nets and has since leapfrogged around different teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers and now the LA Clippers. Surprisingly, this season, Harden silenced critics on the Clippers and is putting up All-Star numbers. Harden is averaging 17 points, five rebounds, eight assists, and more than one steal per night. He’s back to being an elite shooter, shooting 41.3 percent from three, and he’s a much better finisher at the rim this year. Moreover, the Clippers are one of the most surprising teams this year, with a 35-17 record, 3rd in the Western Conference. Even though Harden had to sacrifice some scoring touches being on a team with other superstars like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who are both All-Stars this year, he’s making up for that with his advanced playmaking and knockdown shooting. In fact, it feels unfair that Harden didn’t make the team when Leonard and George both did, as he was a crucial piece to the Clipper’s early success. 


De'Aaron Fox, G (Sacramento Kings)


The Kings getting double snubbed is particularly brutal, and De’Aaron Fox is another player who strongly deserves an All-Star appearance. With the Kings sitting at Top 5 in the Western Conference standings, De’Arron Fox was snubbed from the All-Star games this year after making it for the first time last year. Fox is averaging over 27 points, four rebounds, five assists, and a steal per night while performing like the best player on a solid Kings team. Fox is a reliable three-point shooter, shooting 38 percent behind the arc and a crucial part of their defense, especially at interrupting the flow of an opposing offense. However, even though Fox is incredible, this snub is understandable, as the West is loaded with elite guards, including Luka Doncic, Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Devin Booker, Steph Curry, and Anthony Edwards, and Fox does not outperform them. The league should consider expanding the All-Star roster to 15 people instead to make sure other top-tier players don’t miss out on the recognition they deserve. 


Rudy Gobert, C (Minnesota Timberwolves)


Rudy Gobert is arguably the second-most important player on the best team in the West this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves. Gobert is a noteworthy All-Star snub this season, missing out despite averaging more than 13 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks per night. Even though his numbers don’t seem too impressive, Gobert is crucial to the Timberwolves’ defense this season, which is the best in the NBA by a wide margin. Standing at seven feet, he is able to cover tons of ground inside the three-point line and is probably the best rim-protector in the league. When he’s playing, the team is plus 9.7 points per 100 possessions, compared to the 1.2 when he’s off. As the Timberwolves already have two All-Stars in Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony Towns, it makes sense to leave Gobert out, but personally, Gobert definitely deserves this recognition over KAT this season.

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