LaMelo Ball, Zion Williamson Headline NBA Rising Stars Roster Reveal on Top Shot

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2021

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) drives in against New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
Derick Hingle/Associated Press

The NBA revealed its 2020-21 Rising Stars rosters Wednesday through NBA Top Shot. 

New Orleans Pelicans big man Zion Williamson, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant and Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball headline the group.

With the league scaling down All-Star Weekend because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rising Stars Challenge won't be played. However, officials still wanted to honor the best first- and second-year players from the United States and the rest of the world.

            

United States

  • LaMelo Ball, G, Charlotte Hornets
  • Anthony Edwards, G, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Tyrese Haliburton, G, Sacramento Kings
  • Tyler Herro, G, Miami Heat
  • De'Andre Hunter, F, Atlanta Hawks
  • Keldon Johnson, G/F, San Antonio Spurs 
  • Ja Morant, G, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Michael Porter Jr., F, Denver Nuggets
  • Zion Williamson, F, New Orleans Pelicans
  • James Wiseman, C, Golden State Warriors

           

World

  • Precious Achiuwa, F, Miami Heat
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Deni Avdija, F, Washington Wizards
  • RJ Barrett, G/F, New York Knicks
  • Facundo Campazzo, G, Denver Nuggets
  • Brandon Clarke, F, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Luguentz Dort, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Rui Hachimura, F, Washington Wizards
  • Theo Maledon, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Mychal Mulder, G, Golden State Warriors

            

Williamson and Morant were the two biggest locks.

The former has missed just one game and is averaging 25.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 61.4 percent from the field. The latter is the reigning Rookie of the Year and has seen his points (19.1) and assists (7.8) climb since last season.

Likewise, Ball was the one rookie you could firmly cement as one of the Rising Stars. Beyond the 15.7 points and 6.4 assists he's averaging, he's shooting far better (44.6 percent overall and 36.7 percent on threes) than most expected out of the gate.

The same can't be said of Anthony Edwards. The No. 1 overall pick is hitting just 31.2 percent of his long-range jumpers, but his potential is evident. In addition, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard delivered what's likely to be the best dunk of the season.

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New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley might be the biggest snub on either squad.

The 21-year-old rookie looks like he'll be a steal with the 25th overall pick. Through 32 games, he's averaging 12.6 points and 2.4 assists in 18.9 minutes on the floor.

Knicks fans will probably settle for the team qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2013.