The NBA announced the complete roster for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night. As always, there were a handful of deserving names left out of the list. There isn’t a wrong answer when choosing the final spots in each conference. There are many reasons why All-Star-caliber players simply can’t make the cut. A few players were big producers, however on weaker teams. Others didn’t have the numbers yet rather they should have consideration for their impact on winning rosters. Either way, the players who were selected are worthy of being All-Stars. Still, these NBA players who missed the cut should be worthy of praise for having significant seasons.
Biggest Snubs From The 2019 NBA All-Star Roster
DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
After four straight previous all-star appearances, it sounds odd to say that Demar DeRozan is not an All-Star this year. When San Antonio Spurs starting point guard Dejounte Murray went down with a torn ACL in the preseason, it opened up a perfect opportunity for DeRozan to fulfill a leadership role into a new team and different system. DeRozan has stepped up to the plate for the Spurs when needed, especially during his first match-up against Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 4, notching his first career triple-double. DeRozan is San Antonio’s leading scorer with 21.4 points a game; he is also averaging career-highs in rebounds (6.3) and assists (6.2).
LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 21.1 points and 8.8 rebounds will instead represent the Spurs in the All-Star Game.
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has been outstanding for the Utah Jazz this season. He continues to make a case as the NBA’s top defender with his real plus-minus (4.59). On top of being the center of the defense, Rudy Gobert’s offensive numbers are also up across the board, averaging a career-high 15 points a game. The advanced stats love him; Gobert ranks top 10 in plus-minus, making him the only player to rank in the top 10 who is not an All-Star. While Jazz fans are not happy with Gobert missing the cut, Gobert himself is not happy, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports that the big man will lose a $1 million bonus for missing the All-Star Game.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
In only his third season, Pascal Siakam is averaging career-highs across the board in his first year as a starter. Averaging 15 points and seven rebounds, Siakam does it all for the Toronto Raptors, who currently sit in second place in the East. For Siakam, being an All-Star would have been meaningful to him.
“It means a lot,” Siakam told The Toronto Star on Thursday. “It means that all the hard work that you put in is paying off.” While Siakam didn’t make the cut for the All-Star Game, he is a strong candidate for the league’s Most Improved Player award.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic has been having a historic rookie season, averaging 20.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. He’s on pace to be only the fourth rookie in the past 40 years to average more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Tyreke Evans, LeBron James and Michael Jordan are all on that list. Donic is becoming the new face of a franchise with his exciting play including buzzer-beaters and nifty passing. However, there are legit reasons why Doncic could not make the cut. First, he’s in a stacked Western Conference that’s so stacked, it’s quite difficult to pick All-Star-caliber talent. Second, the Dallas Mavericks are not a great team. The Mavericks are 23-28, fourth worst in the West. Despite not making the cut, Doncic still has a chance to wild the crowd by competing in the 2019 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.
Tobias Harris, Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers have been a formidable team in a strong Western Conference, Tobias Harris is having a breakout season. He’s developed into a well-rounded, three-level scorer, shooting 43.3 percent from three and averaging 21 points. Harris has truly evolved from a high-end role player with untapped potential into a lead scorer that has transformed the Clippers. There is a good case that Harris could have replaced Klay Thompson: this season has not been one of his absolute best seasons offensively, yet Thompson has had great shooting moments as usual in the regular season.
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 17: Tobias Harris #34 of the Los Angeles Clippers competes in the JBL Three-Point Contest during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, as part of All-Star Weekend at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 17, 2018. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)