First-time NBA All-Stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young are slated to headline the Rising Stars game.
The NBA announced the rosters for the Feb. 14 game on Friday, with Doncic and Young — who were traded for each other in a blockbuster 2018 draft-day trade between the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks — as the most high-profile of the 20 names on the World and U.S. rosters, respectively. Only first- and second-year players are eligible for the game, and the league’s assistant coaches select the rosters.
The top three picks in the 2019 draft — Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett — are all scheduled to participate. Morant is the Rookie of the Year favorite, and Williamson recently made his highly anticipated debut for the New Orleans Pelicans after having knee surgery. They will be teammates on the U.S. roster. Williamson was a late addition, replacing injured Chicago Bulls big man Wendell Carter Jr.
Morant will be joined in the game by Memphis Grizzlies teammates Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke. The Charlotte Hornets also placed three players in the game, all of whom will play for the U.S. The Pelicans, Miami Heat and Washington Wizards will each feature a pair of players on the two 10-man rosters.
Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets
Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls (injured)
Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Hornets
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans (Canada)
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (Bahamas)
R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks (Canada)
Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies (Canada)
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (Slovenia)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder (Canada)
Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (Japan)
Svi Mykhailiuk, Detroit Pistons (Ukraine)
Josh Okogie, Minnesota Timberwolves (Nigeria)
Moritz Wagner, Washington Wizards (Germany)
Wait, where’s Matisse Thybulle?
The biggest snub among the NBA’s rookies and sophomores is first-year Philadelphia 76ers wing Matisse Thybulle, an All-Defensive-caliber talent who is shooting 36.6 percent from 3-point range. The 22-year-old University of Washington product is averaging 20 minutes for a title-contending team, including 10 starts.
Each team’s staff of assistant coaches submitted a single ballot containing four frontcourt players, four guards and two wild-card spots. The 30 coaching staffs could not vote for players from their own team and were required to pick at least three rookies and three second-year players. Thybulle has played the majority of his minutes as a shooting guard for the 76ers, according to lineup data compiled by Cleaning the Glass.
Ten guards were ultimately selected to the game, five of whom are on the U.S. roster: Graham, Herro, Morant, Nunn and Young. That leaves one open wild-card spot. The NBA did not identify the wild cards, but it may well have been Williamson — a late addition. It is unfortunate for Thybulle, a deserving candidate.
Other snubs include Cleveland’s Collin Sexton, Denver’s Michael Porter Jr., Miami’s Duncan Robinson, L.A. Clippers wing Landry Shamet, Indiana’s Aaron Holiday, Milwaukee’s Donte DiVincenzo, Portland’s Anfernee Simons, Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter and New York’s Mitchell Robinson. The NBA is in good hands with the amount of global talent — both high-profile and underrated — filling the rookie and sophomore rosters.
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