The starters for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game have been announced, with Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant being captains for this year’s festivities. Durant’s status for the game is still up in the air due to his injury.
However, there were naturally some players who were deserving of a starting spot who got snubbed by the voters. Here’s a look at some of the best players who will have to settle for reserve status at the 2022 All-Star Game, but should’ve been starters.
NBA All-Star Game starter snubs
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Doncic is averaging 25.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game on a Mavericks team that is hanging around in the West. The fourth-year star is doing impressive things so regularly they’ve become routine. Compare his numbers with anyone else starting and it’s hard to see how Doncic isn’t on the list. The Dallas market is big enough to carry him in terms of fan voting, so this is a surprise.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
How does the best team in the NBA not have a starter in the All-Star game? Booker has taken yet another step this season after last year’s run to the Finals. If there weren’t rigid positions, he’d likely be in. Booker is averaging 25.0 points per game while also elevating his play on the defensive end of the floor. He deserves to be a starter.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Butler missed a lot of games, so this is not as big of a snub as Doncic and Booker. The Heat are at the top of the East despite a myriad of injuries, and Butler’s play on both ends has kept them in the conversation. The two-way star is making the most of his decision to build something in Miami and that deserves some recognition. Also, there’s a chance he becomes a starter anyway if Kevin Durant opts out of the game.
James Harden, Brooklyn Nets
There’s been a lot of noise surrounding Harden and his desire to potentially leave Brooklyn. The Nets shooting guard was also experiencing some growing pains with the NBA’s new officiating rules. However, he’s still averaging 23.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game. With Durant and Kyrie Irving on the team, those are insane numbers. The New York market should’ve been able to put Harden in over Trae Young.
Here’s a look at the full breakdown of the voting, with the players and media ranks included. Zach LaVine was actually ahead of Harden in the East in the composite tally, so he can be considered another snub.