Biggest Snubs from 2019 NBA All-Star Reserves Announcement
There are more All-Star-caliber players in the NBA than spots allowed on the game's rosters. It leads to snubs every year.
A handful of deserving names were left out of the 2018-19 exhibition, which is set for February 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A few were big producers on weaker teams. Others didn't have the numbers; rather, they should have earned consideration for their impact on winning rosters.
There isn't a wrong answer when choosing the final spots in each conference. And though each of the following players were worthy All-Stars, nobody who made Thursday's final cut deserves the boot.
D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 19.5 points, 6.4 assists, 44.0 FG%, 37.6 3PT%
Averaging 19.5 points and 6.4 assists per game while leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 28-24 start wasn't enough for D'Angelo Russell.
A numbers game keeps him off the initial roster, though he's a good bet to replace the injured Victor Oladipo, who's out for the season with a leg injury.
Russell has elevated his game this year, particularly as a lead scorer, as he's proved capable of carrying his team for stretches and fourth quarters. He's shooting 44.4 percent on his pull-up jumper, which has become one of the game's deadliest.
His assists and field-goal percentage are up, while his turnovers are down (2.8 turnovers in 29.6 minutes per game).
A more efficient overall player, Russell has put up All-Star stats, and they haven't been empty.
Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers
2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 19.6 points, 3.7 assists, 47.9 FG%, 38.5 3PT%
The Philadelphia 76ers have lost just six games with Jimmy Butler active since they acquired him November 12.
He's a star whose stats have been held in check while playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in Minnesota and then Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia.
Shooting over 47.0 percent from the floor for the second consecutive season, Butler continues to score with efficiency, including around the perimeter (38.8 three-point percentage with Philadelphia), while often defending the opposing team's top weapons.
He had a case over Khris Middleton, who likely benefited from the Milwaukee Bucks' status as one of the Eastern Conference's best.
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 15.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 65.0 FG%
Utah Jazz fans won't be happy, since Rudy Gobert is a more active scorer this year, but he's still not an All-Star.
Gobert himself won't be happy, either, as ESPN's Bobby Marks reports the big man will lose a cool $1 million bonus for missing the league's midseason exhibition.
Gobert continues to make a case as the NBA's top defender, ranking No. 1 in defensive real plus-minus (4.59). Donovan Mitchell has given the Jazz a new offensive dimension, but the team's identity is still built around Gobert and the league's No. 5 defense.
He's also averaging a career-high 15.0 points, providing Utah's guards with an elite finishing weapon and cleanup man.
Tobias Harris, Los Angeles Clippers
2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 21.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 50.3 FG%, 43.3 3PT%
Having a career year as the No. 1 option for the 28-23 Los Angeles Clippers, Tobias Harris is deserving in a vacuum and has an equally strong case as San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge, who made the squad.
Harris has evolved from high-end role player with untapped potential into lead scorer on a winning Western Conference team. He's still 26 years old and improving every season. Harris should be around for the 2020 All-Star Game.
Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 21.2 points, 8.0 assists, 47.9 FG%, 33.2 3PT%
The 23-29 New Orleans Pelicans have fallen into lottery territory, which had to hurt Jrue Holiday's All-Star chances.
He's been a constant for a team that's dealt with Anthony Davis injuries and now a trade request. Holiday is having his most productive NBA season, averaging 21.2 points and 8.0 assists per game while maintaining his status as a tough defensive player.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 55.9 FG%, 32.4 3PT%
From New Mexico State and the G League, 2016 No. 27 overall pick Pascal Siakam has suddenly emerged as a high-impact player for one of the East's best teams.
He's more than doubled his scoring average to 15.2 points from 7.3 per game, giving the Toronto Raptors a high-energy rim runner and finisher. But his shooting has been the biggest development, as he's already hit 36 three-pointers—a career high.
He's evolved from strictly a weapon around the basket to a big who can make outside shots.