The NBA All-Star weekend is only a few weeks away, and of course, you have normal events like the Slam Dunk contest, NBA 3-point contest, skills challenge, and the Jordan Rising Star game.
The NBA released the game roster on Tuesday, including rookies, sophomores, and players from the NBA G League. Here is some information on how the winner will be determined, the coaches, and the game's history.
- For the second straight season, it will be a three-game mini tournament
- It will be comprised of 28 players. 11 rookies, 10 sophomores, and seven NBA G League players.
- 21 NBA players will be drafted onto three teams, with the seven NBA G League players that were selected by the league comprising the fourth team.
- Head coaches will be Paul Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Deron Willams, and coaching the G League Ignite team will be Jason Terry.
- All three games will be won by getting to a target score. The game will not end on a timed basis, only on a free throw or made basket.
- Semifinal will be to a target score of 40, and the final game will be to 25
Here’s the full rosters for the game:
Starting with the rookies, let us take a look at some of the notable players that will participate in this season's Rising Star Game.
Paulo Banchero, the number 1 overall out of Duke, has already exceeded this season's expectations for the Orlando Magic. Banchero currently leads all rookies in points per game, minutes, and free throw attempts per game and is top five in rebounds and assists per game.
Jabari Smith Jr.
The Rockets drafted Jabari Smith Jr. third overall in this past NBA draft. Of course, we all know the story by now. The talk all the way up to the draft was that Orlando was set to pick Smith number one overall, but that changed once Banchero's name was announced as the number one overall pick.
Smith has had an up-and-down season, especially regarding shooting the ball. This season Smith is averaging 11.9 points on 38.7 percent shooting from the field. His defense has been good at times, but he is definitely a work in progress.
So far, the number four overall pick has been a welcome surprise for the equally surprising Sacramento Kings. The Kings surprised some when they selected Murray as number four overall, but he has validated that pick so far.
Murray is number four in points per game, shooting over 42 percent from 3-point range and over 80 percent from the free-throw line. The 42.2 percent from the arch is even more impressive when you realize it is on six attempts per game. Murray is a big reason the Kings are the league's surprise team so far this season.
Now let's move over to the Sophomores.
Some have said that Evan Mobley isn't having the same impact he had last season, but even if that is the case, his numbers are still pretty good for a second-year player. Mobley's 3-point shooting is down this season, but his points per game, overall shooting, and free throw shooting are all slightly up this season.
The Cavaliers have had to try and integrate in the talented All-Star Donovan Mitchell this season, and it took some time for Mobley to adjust. Lately, however, the big man has had some huge games, and there is no reason it won't continue as the Cavaliers inch closer to the playoffs.
When you think back right after the 2021 draft, most people thought the Rookie of the Year award would come down to Cade Cunnigham, Jalen Green, or Mobley. However, Barnes had other ideas as he took home the award, beating out the three players drafted ahead of him.
Even though some of his shooting numbers are down this season, and he had an up-and-down start to this season, he has played much better recently. It didn't help that the Toronto Raptors themselves have had an uneven season, to say the least.
Barnes is still putting up good numbers and actually has improved his playmaking skills, as he is averaging close to five assists per game.
Jalen Green's season so far has been a mixed bag. On the one hand, his scoring is way up from his rookie season. But, on the other hand, his shooting splits are down in several categories.
Green leads all second-year players in scoring, just as Barnes has improved as a playmaker. The fact that the Rockets are heading toward having the worst record in the league for a third consecutive year hasn't helped with Green's development. Green has shown flashes of brilliance recently, scoring over 40 points twice, including a career-high 42 vs. the Timberwolves just four games ago.
No, Scoot Henderson is not a rookie or Sophomore, but he is one of the most talked about players in this upcoming draft. Henderson, who currently plays for the G League Ignite team, is the presumptive number two overall pick in the upcoming draft.
Some have even said he might have gone number one if he was in any of the previous few drafts. Either way, we will be seeing Henderson in this game for the next couple of seasons as he is destined to be one of if not the best Rookie and Sophomore in the next two seasons.
Here is the full list of participants. All three games in the Jordan Rising Stars will be played on Friday, Feb. 17, from Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City beginning at 9 p.m. ET.