NBA All-Star Rosters 2017: Starters, Reserves, MVP Predictions and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 25: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 25, 2017 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Nearly every All-Star-related headline after last week's announcement of the starters centered on Russell Westbrook's snub. As expected, the reserve rosters rectified that situation, with the Oklahoma City Thunder guard headlining the 14 remaining players who were named 2017 All-Stars on Thursday. 

TNT's Inside the NBA crew revealed the finalized rosters, which had been leaked through various reports earlier in the day. 

NBA All-Star Starters
Eastern Conference
PositionPlayerTeamAll-Star Appearance
BCKyrie IrvingCleveland Cavaliers4th
BCDeMar DeRozanToronto Raptors3rd
FCLeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers13th
FCGiannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks1st
FCJimmy ButlerChicago Bulls3rd
Western Conference
PositionPlayerTeamAll-Star Appearance
BCStephen CurryGolden State Warriors4th
BCJames HardenHouston Rockets5th
FCKevin DurantGolden State Warriors8th
FCKawhi LeonardSan Antonio Spurs2nd
FCAnthony DavisNew Orleans Pelicans4th
NBA All-Star Reserves
Eastern Conference
PositionPlayerTeamAll-Star Appearance
BCJohn WallWashington Wizards4th
BCIsaiah ThomasBoston Celtics2nd
BCKyle LowryToronto Raptors3rd
BCKemba WalkerCharlotte Hornets1st
FCPaul GeorgeIndiana Pacers4th
FCKevin LoveCleveland Cavaliers4th
FCPaul MillsapAtlanta Hawks4th
Western Conference
PositionPlayerTeamAll-Star Appearance
BCRussell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder6th
BCKlay ThompsonGolden State Warriors3rd
FCGordon HaywardUtah Jazz1st
FCDeMarcus CousinsSacramento Kings3rd
FCDeAndre JordanLos Angeles Clippers1st
FCMarc GasolMemphis Grizzlies3rd
FCDraymond GreenGolden State Warriors2nd
TNT Broadcast

Westbrook, who is on pace to become the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double over a full season, lost a three-way tie for starter status due to fan voting. He was first among all Western Conference guards among media members and players but finished third behind Stephen Curry and James Harden in fan voting—the tiebreaker in the NBA's new formula.

"It is what it is," Westbrook told reporters last week of the snub. "It's the nature of the business, the game. I don't play for All-Star nods or All-Star bids. I play to win championships, and every night I compete at a high level. It will work out. Just continue to do what I'm doing and play the game the right way."

Westbrook is joined in the Western backcourt by Klay Thompson, who is one of an NBA-high four Golden State Warriors on the roster. Curry and former Westbrook teammate Kevin Durant were named starters, while Thompson and Draymond Green earned reserve status. The West will be coached by Golden State's Steve Kerr, who has led the Warriors to an NBA-best 39-7 record this season.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Westbrook and Durant running into each other at the All-Star Game... https://t.co/Vgu1HvwNZR

Most of the rosters for both teams were generally self-explanatory. The Eastern reserves were an understandably guard-heavy affair, with John Wall, Kyle Lowry and Isaiah Thomas all putting up numbers that would be starter-worthy in other seasons. 

ESPN Stats & Info highlighted Wall's statistical excellence:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

John Wall (@WashWizards) voted by coaches as #NBA All-Star. Wall: only player this season averaging 20 points, 10 assists, 2 steals per game

Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz and DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers are among the four first-time All-Stars making the trip to New Orleans. Long ranking among the game's most underrated stars, Hayward is averaging a career-high 21.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He has been the offensive anchor to Rudy Gobert's defensive anchor in Utah's 29-18 start.

Teammate Trey Lyles congratulated Hayward:

Trey Lyles @TreyLyles

Congrats to my guy @gordonhayward well deserved man!! AKA Ed Sheeran👀

Jordan, named a first-team All-NBA center last season, will be the only Clippers representative. He is averaging 12.5 points and 14.0 rebounds but was perhaps the most controversial selection in the West. Dan Feldman of NBC Sports disagreed with his selection:

Dan Feldman Burner Account @DanFeldmanNBA

I would've picked: Rudy Gobert Chris Paul Wouldn't have picked: Klay Thompson DeAndre Jordan

Not among the first-time selections is Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid, whose infectious personality and on-court brilliance have brought life to the formerly moribund franchise. Embiid narrowly missed out on being named an All-Star starter after a major social media push and was always unlikely to be selected by coaches due to his playing-time restraints.

The 7-footer has been limited to 30 games this season as the Sixers slowly work him back from missing two seasons due to foot injuries. He is nonetheless one of the NBA's most productive players on a per-minute basis, averaging 19.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in just 25.3 minutes per game. His rim-defense numbers are more than 3 percent better than any other player, per NBA.com.

Jake Pavorsky of Liberty Ballers, who understandably has a slightly biased outlook, wanted Embiid in the game:

Jake Pavorsky @JakePavorsky

Paul Millsap is very good but also very boring and Joel Embiid should be in the All-Star game.

Embiid once again used his media savvy to make a comment on his snub:

Joel Embiid @JoelEmbiid

Once again the popular vote didn't matter......

The coaches instead chose Kevin Love, Paul Millsap and Paul George as the remaining frontcourt players for the East. Love is making his first appearance in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform after earning three nods with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Millsap has made the roster each of the last four seasons. 

Kemba Walker rounds out the first-timers among the reserves. Building on a stellar 2015-16 season, the Charlotte Hornets guard is averaging a career-high 23.0 points as well as 5.5 assists per game while shooting 41.1 percent from distance. He is perhaps the only Hornets player who is building on his successful campaign last year, as Charlotte sits at a disappointing 23-23. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks was previously named to his first All-Star Game when the starters were announced. 

This will mark the first All-Star Game since 2009 to not feature New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. The subject of trade speculation in recent weeks, Anthony had been an All-Star despite the Knicks' struggles in his first five full seasons with the club. 

He'll join friend Dwyane Wade among the unhappy stars to sit out the All-Star contest. Wade, who signed with the Chicago Bulls this offseason, was named an All-Star each of the previous 12 years.

Perhaps the biggest snub is Hayward's teammate Gobert, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. 

A full-time starter for just the second season, Gobert is blasting career highs across the board. He's averaging 12.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while emerging as arguably the NBA's premier rim protector. Opponents are shooting 43.6 percent on 10.8 shots per game with Gobert defending the rim, which ranks fifth among high-usage players


All-Star Game MVP Prediction

Russell Westbrook is averaging 30.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. He is roughly on pace to tie Oscar Robertson's single-season record for triple doubles (41), which was set back when games were played at a breakneck pace and defense was a fraction as complicated to exploit. 

Westbrook leads the NBA in scoring, and he is ranked second in assists and 11th in rebounding. He has propped up a Thunder team that lost Durant and Serge Ibaka in the offseason and has them in sixth place in the Western Conference, a mortal lock for the postseason. 

Westbrook is a fiery competitor who takes every slight to heart. He is, somehow, not starting the All-Star Game.

Oh, and Westbrook has also won the All-Star MVP two years running. Yeah, you're not about to cash me anywhere—inside or out—picking anyone else.


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