I’m sure that everybody knows who made the All-Star game this year, but just in case anybody missed it:
East: Trae Young, Kemba Walker, Pascal Siakam, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Domantas Sabonis, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum.
West: James Harden, Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram, Nikola Jokic, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook.
Determining a list of Top All-Star snubs is obviously highly subjective and a matter of opinion, so instead of my biased arguments for Devin Booker and a few others as the most obvious snubs without any real proof, I’ll use a simple test to determine who the top snubs are. The average stats of this year’s All-Star selections will be used as a baseline comparison. Obviously intangibles aren’t measured, team record isn’t taken into account and some other defensive stats aren’t being used in this scenario.
EAST All-Star Averages:
WEST All-Star Averages:
There were quite a few players that put up enough stats to be worthy of honorable mention but didn’t make the cut for various reasons. Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyrie Irving, and D’Angelo Russell all put up numbers that would have put them into consideration for sure, however, they didn’t play enough games for the comparison to be fair. A few players who met some of the averages provided above for their respective conferences but not enough to qualify as snubs are Spencer Dinwiddie, Nikola Vucevic and Jaylen Brown. Enes Kanter provides a really compelling and funny case as a sleeper All-Star. For the Easter Conference averages, he actually exceeds the REB, FG% and PER requirement, the only issue is that he scores so little that it actually counts against him in my mind.
10. Clint Capela
Possibly a shock to some, Capela actually meets 2 of the qualifying stats for the Western Conference. He meets both the Rebounding and Field Goal Percentage values, which he surpasses by a fairly large margin at 13.8 RPG and 63% shooting. Rebounding and shooting efficiency are extremely important values to any winning team, but he doesn’t have the shot volume that other All-Stars have and there isn’t much of a star factor to him. In fact, two of his teammates are already All-Stars in Westbrook and Harden.
9. DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan is putting up very solid numbers this season in every category, but he falls short of the Western Conference averages in every category except for Field Goal Percentage. It’s hard to hold him being in the Western Conference rather than the East against him, where he would meet 3 averages, but all comparisons need to stay within their own conference to keep it fair. So unfortunately for the 4-time All-Star, it seems that changing conferences last season is working against his All-Star case.
8. LaMarcus Aldridge
DeRozan’s teammate Aldridge is another player who has put up impressive numbers and has been an All-Star in years past but just isn’t cutting it this year. Aldridge is just hardly reaching the Rebounding and Field Goal thresholds for the Western Conference, along with his 19 points, which justifies why he wasn’t selected as an All-Star this season.
7. Montrezl Harrell
Harrell is putting up a similar stat-line to Aldridge, except he is also competing with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on given nights, and Lou Williams on the offensive end. As a result, he only meets the Field Goal threshold this season and is close to the Rebounding average. Nevertheless, he could be a potential All-Star in seasons to come if he continues his current trajectory.
6. Zach LaVine
LaVine only meets the Points threshold in the Eastern Conference, however, he has All-Star potential and there is a very clear reason as to why he isn’t. He doesn’t have many offensive pieces around him, which puts a lot of pressure on him and hurts his Field Goal Percentage and his Player Efficiency Rating. If LaVine had some better weapons in Chicago, he would look much more efficient and possibly even average more points and assists per game.
5. Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond only meets the Rebounding and Field Goal thresholds in the East, but he clobbers them. He’s grabbing 15.7 rebounds per game, and he’s also putting up a solid 17.3 points per game. In the right season, that stat line could make a case for an All-Star. I also believe that if Blake Griffin wasn’t injured so often this season, Drummonds’ numbers would actually improve. His rebounds would possibly take a dip, but I think his scoring would improve with another scoring threat on the floor.
4. Derrick Rose
A shock to many this season has been the resurgence of former MVP Derrick Rose. As far as how he is faring against the Eastern Conference All-Star averages, he reaches the Assists, Field Goal Percentage and PER numbers. In addition to reaching those values, he also is chipping in 18.5 points per game, which isn’t very far off from the Eastern average. Contrary to his teammate Drummond, I think that the presence of Blake Griffin would hurt Rose’s averages because Blake Griffin likes to handle the ball and can be a volume scorer.
3. Hassan Whiteside
This is probably one of the most surprising performances of the entire season in my opinion. Whiteside was trending down the past few years, but this year he surpasses the Western Conference All-Star average RPG, FG% and PER. In addition to his 14.1 RPG, he is adding 16 points per game and an astounding 3.1 blocks. Whitesides’ interior dominance is extremely impressive, and in my opinion, gives him a stat line as close to All-Star caliber without being that as possible.
2. Devin Booker
Out of all these impressive performances acknowledged thus far, Booker is the first one that I think was truly snubbed of being an All-Star. Booker surpasses the Western Conference PPG, FG and APG thresholds. His 27.2 PPG is impressive alone, but also factoring in that he is by far the defensive focus of every team they face, he relies mainly on perimeter shots, and he’s still managing to shoot 51.1% overall. It’s hard to not be biased as a Suns fan, but I do feel truly disrespected that Booker missed the cut. I would understand the poor record argument if it was used when looking at all players. Brandon Ingram plays for a team with a poor record and made the cut, and Trae Young is a starter even though his Hawks have the second worst record in the entire NBA.
1. Bradley Beal
I would’ve loved to put Booker at one, but Beal is actually more deserving after analyzing the season he is having. Beal is in a similar scenario, being the only offensive threat on his team, but he’s managing to score 28.8 points per game. He also reaches the Eastern Conference threshold for Assists and PER, but it really is ridiculous to omit a player who is scoring almost 29 points per game. It is rather insulting that the hard work being put in by Beal has been overlooked so far this season.
Please let me know who I forgot about or what I got wrong!