The 2024 NBA All-Star reserves have been announced, and it’s bound to leave some hard feelings for players who just barely missed the cut.
With that in mind, here are the nine biggest snubs for the 2024 NBA All-Star Game. Apologies to Jamal Murray, who will have to settle for being No. 10.
9. Victor Wembanyama, C, San Antonio Spurs: The NBA’s last rookie All-Star was Blake Griffin in 2010, and that streak will hold for another year despite Wembanyama’s outstanding close to the first half. Wemby is unstoppable at the rim on both ends of the floor, already leading the NBA in blocks at 20 years old, and also dunking everything in sight. He needs to cut out some outside shots and keep playing more at the rim, and he needs a real point guard to set him up. Either way, don’t expect him to miss the All-Star Game again as long as he stays healthy.
8. Derrick White, G, Boston Celtics: White is more than just the ultimate glue guy in the backcourt, he’s blossomed into an under-the-radar two-way star in his own right. The Celtics guard has reached a new tier by improving his scoring punch while maintaining his excellent defense. White is putting up a career-high in points (15.8 per game), he’s hitting 40 percent from three for the first time in his career, and he’s a lockdown defender at the point of attack. Is White thriving because the Celtics are so stacked, or are the Celtics so stacked because White is playing like another All-Star? Either way, his rapid development has been a nice story this season.
7. Trae Young, G, Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks are on the brink of falling apart, but Young is having another excellent season as an offensive catalyst. The 25-year-old guard is No. 10 in the league in scoring (27 points per game) and No. 2 in assists (10.9 per game). His three-point shot as ticked back up this year (36.8 percent) and he continues to generate free throws at a high rate. The Hawks need a trade or two to shake things up, but they shouldn’t give up on Young as their franchise player just yet.
6. Kristaps Porzingis, C, Boston Celtics: Porzingis’ knockdown shooting from the five has made the Celtics more dangerous than ever. He’s given the team an added element of spacing they didn’t have before, while also providing some excellent rim protection inside. Porzingis is at his best as a pick-and-pop threat, where he’s hitting about 36 percent of his threes so far this year. He’s also feasting on wide open dunks in the lane as defenders rush to cover one of Boston’s many other weapons. The decision to trade Marcus Smart for the 7’4 Latvian big man now looks like a masterstroke.
5. Domantas Sabonis, F, Sacramento Kings: Sabonis continues to be one of the best interior scorers and rebounders in the league. He’s an absolute monster on the glass who generates extra possessions for Sacramento on a consistent basis. On offense, Sabonis can punish you with his post game, or be the hub of the offense on hand-offs with De’Aaron Fox. His presence keeps the Kings running.
4. James Harden, G, Los Angeles Clippers: After a rough start for the first few games, Harden has been masterful for Clippers following the trade that brought him over from Philadelphia. The Clippers have been hammering every team in their path for two full months at this point, and Harden’s advanced playmaking and knockdown shooting is a big reason why. While Harden’s per-game numbers have dropped a bit, he’s back to being an elite shooter (41.3 percent from three) and he’s much better finishing at the rim this year. He’s been everything the Clippers could have asked for so far.
3. Scottie Barnes, F, Toronto Raptors: The Raptors have fully turned the team over to Barnes this year, and while the wins didn’t come, the development certainly has. The 21-year-old has blossomed into one of the most versatile forwards in the game in his third season, showcasing an improved three-point stroke, impressive vision as a passer, and the willingness to bang on the glass. Barnes’ offensive development has overshadowed the fact that he might be even better on defense, where he’s been more of a deterrent at the rim this season. The decision to trade Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby has put the future of the franchise squarely in Barnres’ hands, and Toronto should be feeling hopeful about that decision so far.
2. Rudy Gobert, C, Minnesota Timberwolves: Gobert was considered a punchline a year ago as he turned in an underwhelming season after the Wolves traded five first-round picks to get him. Gobert is healthy again this season, and his impact on Minnesota has been undeniable. The Wolves own the No. 1 defense in the NBA mostly because of Gobert’s elite rim protection and defensive rebounding. It’s not just the shots he blocks, but the shots opponents never even take because they’re scared to get swatted. The playoffs will be the ultimate referendum on whether this Wolves team is for real, but this is exactly the type of impact they were hoping for when they swung the bold trade for Gobert.
1. De’Aaron Fox, G, Sacramento Kings: Fox has been fantastic this year, but unfortunately got squeezed out in a deep field in the West. The 26-year-old guard is averaging a career-high in scoring (27.2 points per game) by blossoming as a shooter. Once a weakness in his skill set, Fox is now a high-volume, highly accurate shooter from deep by hitting 38 percent of his eight attempts per game from behind the arc. He’s still one of the fastest players in the league with the ball in his hands. If players like Fox are missing out on All-Star status, the league really might need to expand the rosters to 15 players per conference.