The NBA All-Star Game leaves a few players with hurt feelings every year. Earning a nod to the All-Star Game is a significant honor, but at the end of the day, there’s only 12 spots available in each conference. There are always some worthy candidates who just miss out.
Remember, a year ago, Trae Young was snubbed for the All-Star Game. He responded by leading the Atlanta Hawks on a charmed run to the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s a starter in the All-Star Game this year. Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, and Zach LaVine are among the players who failed to get into the All-Star Game with a compelling resume earlier in their careers before each becoming multi-time selections.
We have a full breakdown of the rosters for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game here. Keep in mind that there will go replacement players added if someone can’t play because of an injury. All-Star captain Kevin Durant will miss the game with a sprained MCL. Draymond Green said he’ll miss the game with a back injury, too.
LaMelo Ball and Dejounte Murray were originally on this list, but both were added to the game as replacements for Green and Durant.
These are the biggest snubs for the 2022 All-Star Game in Cleveland on Feb. 20.
2022 NBA All-Star snubs
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers: The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments, and it’s largely because Davis was out for five weeks recovering from a sprained knee. When AD is on the floor, he’s still a dominant two-way force capable of looking like one of the better players in the league on his best nights. While his jump shot has plummeted this year, he’s making a career-best 56.8 percent of his two-pointers while playing a level of defense that ranges from ‘solid’ to ‘elite.’ He’d be an All-Star every year if he were fully healthy.
Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns: All-Star spots usually go to players who put up big scoring numbers, and that will never be Bridges’ game. Instead, the 25-year-old wing is one of the game’s top perimeter defenders and a crucial part of a Suns squad with the best record in the league. Bridges guards the other team’s best player every night, knocks down his open threes, and gives the Suns some juice in transition. He doesn’t put up All-Star numbers, but he does make an All-Star impact.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder: SGA has a sprained ankle that will sideline him until after the All-Star break, but for the second straight year he’s put together All-Star caliber numbers. The 23-year-old guard is averaging 22.7 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds, but unfortunately the Thunder don’t intend to win games anytime soon. It’s too bad, because SGA is one of the best young guards alive and deserves a playoff platform to prove it.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzles: The Grizzlies are the biggest surprise in the West, rising to third in the conference behind powerhouse Suns and Warriors teams. Ja Morant is the Grizzlies’ best player and he’s starting the All-Star Game, but Jackson deserves serious consideration, too. The 22-year-old has made serious strides defensively this season while putting 16.6 points per game. If his three-point shot starts falling more regularly — he’s only shooting 32 percent from deep so far — he’ll be an All-Star soon.
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers: Cleveland’s decision to scoop up Allen as the Nets discarded him during the James Harden trade looks like one of the sharpest NBA acquisitions over the last few years. After signing a $100 million extension over the offseason, Allen has turned in the best year of his career, averaging 16.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and nearly two assists per game. The Cavs are in the Eastern Conference playoff picture largely because Allen has been excellent as a rim protector and inside finisher.
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks: Holiday just proved himself on the biggest stage possible by helping the Bucks win an NBA championship in his first year on the team. The 31-year-old guard is one of the great point-of-attack defenders in the league, while also providing 18 points and 6.5 rebounds offensively. The Bucks have been up-and-down after a short offseason, but they will remain a force in the playoffs in large part because of Holiday’s two-way game.
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers: Sabonis fell just short of his third straight All-Star appearance, but in some ways he’s having his best season yet. The 25-year-old big man is scoring more efficiently than ever, putting up more than 19 points per game on career-best 65 percent true shooting. He continues to be a solid rebounder and playmaker, too. Sabonis is reportedly available for the right offer at the trade deadline, and would likely look a lot better as a supporting piece on a contender rather than a leading man on a bad Indiana team.
Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets: Bridges has enjoyed a breakout year in his fourth season by catching lobs from LaMelo Ball and improving his ability to attack the defense off the dribble. He is averaging career-highs in scoring (20 points per game), rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks for a resurgent Hornets team in position to qualify for the East playoffs. Charlotte has to be regretting not locking up Bridges to an extension before the season right now.