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NBA All-Star 2024 biggest snubs: James Harden, Domantas Sabonis and Trae Young headline best players not picked

Earlier in the month, the NBA announced its 10 starters for the 2024 All-Star game. And on Thursday evening, the coaches revealed their selections for the seven reserves from each conference. 

With only 12 spots on each team, there were bound to be plenty of snubs. The competition in the Western Conference was particularly brutal this season. A ton of players who deserved to get in were squeezed out. 

Here are the full list of rosters, and who the biggest snubs this year were. 

MORE: Full rosters, voting results for 2024 NBA All-Star Game

NBA All-Star rosters

East West
Tyrese Haliburton Luka Doncic
Damian Lillard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Giannis Antetokounmpo LeBron James
Jayson Tatum Kevin Durant
Joel Embiid Nikola Jokic
Jalen Brunson Anthony Edwards
Donovan Mitchell Kawhi Leonard
Tyrese Maxey Anthony Davis
Bam Adebayo Devin Booker
Jaylen Brown Stephen Curry
Julius Randle Karl-Anthony Towns
Paolo Banchero Paul George

Starters listed in bold.

Eastern Conference biggest snubs

Trae Young

After a cold shooting slump to open the season, Young has been one of the best offensive players in the league. His career-high 10.8 assists rank second to Tyrese Haliburton, and his 27.0 points per game are 10th overall. 

Ultimately, it seems like he was a victim of his team’s lack of success. The Hawks have been a disappointment, standing well under .500 and fighting for one of the last spots in the play-in tournament. 

Scottie Barnes

Barnes may not be an All-Star, but the leap he has taken this season shouldn’t be discounted. He will be in the conversation for most improved player by the end of the year. 

Barnes has gone from a woeful shooter to solid 36.3 percent from deep. That has fueled a five point increase in his scoring average, up to 20 per game. He’s been great as the primary playmaker on the Raptors, averaging 5.7 assists per game. 

Barnes has also turned in a fantastic defensive season, wreaking havoc with his weakside rim protection and propensity to get in the passing lanes. He’s an incredibly versatile player who has slotted in anywhere from a point forward to small ball center this season for the Raptors. 

Pascal Siakam Indiana Pacers

Pascal Siakam

Siakam is one of the great midrange shooters still remaining in the league, able to get to his spots to fire off that shot whenever he wants. He’s been a good scorer, averaging 22.1 points this season, and his 3-point shooting has improved up to 32.3 percent after a ghastly start. 

Siakam hasn’t quite been the defensive presence that he was in previous years, but he’s still ultra-talented on that end of the floor and looked a little more reinvigorated after getting traded to Indiana. He’s had a good year but fell just a bit short of his third All-Star appearance. 

MORE: Where to buy your 2024 NBA All-Star Game jerseys

Derrick White

White has been vital for the Celtics, but he was doomed by his lack of scoring prowess. Despite hitting 40 percent of his 3s, setting great screens for his stars, and taking on more playmaking duties, it was tough to justify giving him the nod when he averaged 15.6 points per game. 

White has still had a fantastic season, providing his usual stellar defense and all-around play. He’s one of the best role players in the league. 

Jarrett Allen

Where would the Cavs be without Allen? He has been their savior while Darius Garland and Evan Mobley have missed large swaths of the season. Allen’s steady presence has kept them right behind the Knicks in the battle for fourth place in the East. 

Allen is a great lob finisher and rim protector, which earned him All-Star honors back in 2022. While he’s not able to stretch the floor, he never takes bad shots, hitting an absurd 65 percent of his looks. He’s also added some passing to his game, averaging a career-high 3.0 assists this year. 

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis

The Celtics have to be thrilled with the results of the Porzingis trade thus far. He’s given them a different look with his 35.9 percent from 3 and ability to create shots out of the high and low post. His 19.5 points per game are the third-highest on a great offensive team, and he’s been a defensive anchor for them with his 1.8 blocks per game. 

Jimmy Butler

Is Butler one of the 12 best players in the Eastern Conference? The answer is undoubtedly yes. But he’s missed 15 games, and his scoring and assists have been slightly down from previous years. The Heat have also been only so-so this season, hovering around .500 after making the NBA Finals in the previous season.

That was probably enough reason for coaches to keep him off the team, but he should still be a terror in the playoffs.

Western Conference biggest snubs

James Harden

Harden’s case seems to be hurt by his trade demand and slow start to the season. But the Clippers have figured out how to incorporate him by letting him be himself, while also getting him to shoot a few more catch-and-shoot 3’s to make him more of an off-ball threat.

His scoring is down to 17.1 points per game. He’s still a great passer, averaging 8.6 assists per game. And he’s shooting the ball at a career-high 40.9 percent from deep. 

Domantas Sabonis Sacramento Kings

Domantas Sabonis

Sabonis is averaging more points (19.9), rebounds (a league-leading 13.0), and assists (7.9) than last year, when he did make the team. The Kings have also been solid, winning 60 percent of their games thus far. He’s been a wonderful playmaking and screening hub for their offense, yet he seems to get short shrift in a lot of these awards. 

De’Aaron Fox

Fox has upped his scoring average to a career-high 27.5 per game, thanks to a much-improved 3-pointer. He’s hitting 38.6 percent of those and has become a dangerous pull-up threat. That makes the speedy guard even tougher to cover and one of the best scorers in the league. He and Sabonis have totally turned around the Kings’ franchise with their play, but the competition for guard spots in the West was brutal. 

Lauri Markkanen

The Jazz have been one of the hottest teams in the league coming into the All-Star break. After starting the season 7-16, Markkanen returned from an eight-game injury and they’ve battled back to around .500. 

The Finnisher has been their best offensive weapon, averaging 23.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He’s his usual deadly self from 3, hitting 39.6 percent of his shots, and he’s also developed a good post and midrange game to make him even harder to stop. 

Rudy Gobert / Minnesota Timberwolves (vs Phoenix Suns)

Rudy Gobert

Gobert is the favorite to win his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award. After battling through minor injuries last season, he’s back to his dominant self on that end of the floor, serving as the anchor for the Wolves’ No. 1 defense. He’s never going to wow with his offensive bag, but he’s been crashing the glass hard and has good chemistry with guard Mike Conley. 

The Wolves also have a good case to get multiple players in this game given how they’ve overperformed expectations. They’ve been at the top of the Western Conference standings all season. 

Jamal Murray

Murray’s case was hurt by missing 11 games with an ankle injury early in the season. He deserved to make his first game though, particularly given his playoff heroics last year. 

He’s had a good season, averaging career-highs with 21.4 points, 6.5 assists, and 41.0 percent from 3. Teams have been daring him to beat them, giving more attention to Nikola Jokic this year, and Murray has responded with great shotmaking. 

Alperen Sengun

Sengun has helped turn the Rockets’ franchise around from bottom-dweller to near .500. He should be a candidate for Most Improved Player.

He’s always been a good passer, but he’s upped his assists to 5.1 per game while cutting down on some of the head-scratching plays that plagued him in his first two years.

He’s also become a dynamite scorer, going from 14.8 per game last year to 21.9 this season. His post moves look like they’re straight out of the golden age of 90’s big men. 

Chet Holmgren

Holmgren has turned in one of the best shooting seasons ever for a rookie. He’s hitting 53.3 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from 3, and 77.3 percent from the line en route to 16.7 points per game on a good Thunder team. 

As great as he’s been offensively, he’s been just as dynamic on defense. He’s a terrific rim defender, ranking fourth in the league with 2.6 blocks per game. 

Victor Wembanyama San Antonio Spurs

Victor Wembanyama

Wembanyama has been churning out viral moments on a nightly basis. The things he’s doing on the court are ridiculous. 

He’s been a lot better since moving to the center position and playing with a real point guard in Tre Jones, bringing his season scoring up to 20.6 points per game to go along with 10.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

MORE: These Victor Wembanyama plays prove the Spurs rookie is unlike anything the NBA has ever seen

Wembanyama should get some consideration for Defensive Player of the Year at the end of the season. He doesn’t even know player tendencies yet, but he has been that impactful in stopping guys. His ridiculous eight-foot wingspan has allowed him to swipe the ball away on drives, and his 3.1 blocks per game lead the league. 

Brandon Ingram

Ingram has been his usual solid self, averaging 21.4 points, 5.7 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game. He’s been good in the pick-and-roll and unstoppable as a midrange artist. The Pelicans have been a good team, and Ingram has been their best player this year. 

Zion Williamson

Zion is leading the Pelicans with 22.0 points per game and his health has been pretty good, missing only nine games thus far.

He’s a force going to the rim and he’s continued to improve as a passer, averaging a career-high 4.7 assists per game. There aren’t many more explosive athletes in the league. 

Kyrie Irving

Irving has already missed 20 games, which is the biggest knock against his candidacy. When he’s been on the floor, he’s been an elite scorer as always, averaging 25.2 points per game. He’s shooting 41.1 percent from 3, and his ballhandling is among the best in the league. 

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