The NBA has released the full 2020 All-Star Game rosters and for the most part there are no surprises. This includes the final seven spots for both the Western and Eastern Conferenc All-Stars. Here are the reserves, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Sources: 2020 NBA All-Star reserves:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 30, 2020
East: Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Domas Sabonis
West: Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul
So rounding out some of the rosters are the usual suspects. Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons for the East. We’ve got Damian Lillard, Nikola Jokic and Russell Westbrook for the West. But there are a few names not listed that may surprise you. Let’s take a look at the biggest snubs on both rosters for the 2020 All-Star Game:
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
I know I’m a Bulls fan, but come on! The Bulls are hosting this event and won’t have anyone representing them in the All-Star Game. I feel like it’s customary to have at least one player from the host city in the game. LaVine was super deserving considering he’s carrying a bad Chicago team, that is actually in the playoff chase. Sure, it’s not a very competitive one, but a playoff “hunt” nonetheless. LaVine is top 15 in scoring, has improved on defense and has been healthy all season.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Drummond has a case for being in this game given he’s leading the NBA in rebounding. I feel like leading a major statistical category in anything should give you some All-Star clout. He doesn’t have much argument being on the Pistons, but injuries have been more of an issue for Detroit than Drummond’s play. It’s hard to argue Drummond over Adebayo or Sabonis, though, which I think is the major factor here.
DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
DeRozan got off to a slow start and the Spurs aren’t where they’d like to be in the West, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the two-guard. DeRozan ranks 16th in scoring, 5.7 board and 5.2 assists and is 21st in PER. He’s had to do all of this on a declining San Antonio team while trade rumors swirl about his future. I think DeRozan was deserving, potentially ahead of Donovan Mitchell (no knock on Spida, it’s a tough conference). If DeRozan was in the East would he get in over Khris Middleton? I think so.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
My main argument for Booker is this: He’s just a chucker, man. Booker can fill it up and players like that are very exciting and who you want to see at an All-Star Weekend. I realize he hasn’t done much for the Suns, who are 20-27 and don’t appear on track for the postseason. Booker is also a top 10 scorer, shooting above 50% from the field and 36.8% from 3. If that was a 50/40/90 split then Booker would absolutely need to be in the game, right? But again, tough position. Although, I’d probably give Booker a nod over CP3, since I guess it’s more about the team success than the player. Honestly, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should get in over Chris Paul.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets — Irving has only played 18 games this season and really shouldn’t have been in consideration. Irving is also healthy and probably crushed the fan voting, too.
Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers — PG-13 is another injury exemption, only playing 26 games so far this season. Still, he’s averaging 23.5 points and is nearly shooting 40% from 3. Not exactly All-Star numbers but it’s still Paul George.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves — KAT has played 30 games, which is a decent amount, so I’d consider him borderline. If he doesn’t hurt his knee he’s probably getting in, averaging 26.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists with 51/41/81 shooting splits. If KAT were qualified, he’d rank 5th in PER this season. I’d make the argument Towns should have been in there over Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul and Brandon Ingram.