The league announced its reserves for the 2024 All-Star game. For the second year in a row, the Spurs will not be represented in the event, as the coaches unsurprisingly didn’t select Victor Wembanyama, the only San Antonio player who had a chance to make it.
There was some anticipation among Spurs fans about Derrick White potentially making it since the guard is still fondly remembered in San Antonio and has had a fantastic season. He was considered to be on the bubble, but in the end, will end up missing the festivities. There will be no former Spurs in the event, aside from Kawhi Leonard.
Here are the reserves:
There will be some first-time All-Stars, as the Magic’s Paolo Banchero, the Knicks’ Jalen Brunson, and the 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey will be making their All-Star debuts in Indianapolis. The changing of the guard is apparent in the East.
Any time the All-Stars are announced the biggest topic of conversation is snubs, and there is plenty to discuss this year.
Both Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox missed the cut despite having great numbers and leading the Kings to what is currently the fifth-best record in the West. Fox was probably in direct competition with Stephen Curry to make it, so it’s not that big of a surprise he was left out, as coaches tend to vote in living legends, but Sabonis has arguably had a better year than Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis. Towns and Davis are fantastic players deserving of the honor, but no one can blame Kings fans for believing Sabonis is just as deserving, as he’s averaging 20 points, 13 rebounds and a whopping eight assists.
Scottie Barnes and Trae Young are two other players who were on the bubble but didn’t make it. Both are part of losing teams, which likely cost them the selection. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a case to be made for a third Timberwolf to get an invitation, if team record was a big part of the selection process. Rudy Gobert is averaging 13 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks while anchoring the league’s best defense for a Wolves team that has the best record in the West. There’s even a case to be made for Gobert over Towns, if Minnesota was to have only two All-Stars.
As for Wembanyama, his per-game numbers are stellar and his per-minute numbers and defense are All-NBA caliber, but he hasn’t played as much as others and the Spurs’ terrible record surely hurt his chances. It would have been great to see Wemby make it as a rookie, but he’ll surely get selected plenty of times in the future. He will be participating in the Rising Stars game and the skills challenge, so fans will get to see him show off his talent on the All-Star weekend.
Six players in the NBA are averaging 20 and 10 this season. Five made the All-Star team. The sixth is Victor Wembanyama.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) February 2, 2024
Not saying he should have made the team, just pointing out how close he is, at 19 years old plus a month.
Julius Randle and Joel Embiid, recently diagnosed with a torn meniscus, will miss the event, so Commissioner Adam Silver will have the opportunity to give at least two deserving players the honor of being named All-Stars. Whether he’ll pick players from the East as injury replacements or expand the pool to the West as well remains to be seen.
The All-Star game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. CST and will be televised by TNT.