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8 biggest NBA All-Star snubs this year, ranked

Let’s rank the biggest snubs for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.

Toronto Raptors v Utah Jazz Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

There are more All-Star caliber players in the NBA than there are spots on the actual All-Star team. With only 24 available spots on the All-Star roster each year, there’s always bound to be some unhappy players and even more unhappy fanbases. That is again the case for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game held in Salt Lake City, Utah on Feb. 19.

We detailed the full 2023 NBA All-Star rosters in this post. While the voters did a good job for the most part picking the rosters, there were a few surprises. I’d name Jrue Holiday as the biggest surprise in the East, and Paul George as the biggest surprise in the West.

Now let’s get to the snubs. Fans always get upset about the players who could have made the All-Star team but didn’t, but for the players themselves it’s probably pretty nice to get a vacation in the middle of the year.

This year we decided to rank the NBA All-Star snubs. Here’s the players who deserved serious All-Star consideration in Utah.

8. Jalen Brunson, G, New York Knicks: Jalen Brunson’s move to New York looks like the coup of the offseason for the Knicks, and a huge disaster for the Mavericks. Now out from Luka Doncic’s shadow, Brunson is putting up the best numbers of his career as the lead ball handler in New York and proving his game can scale in the biggest moments. Brunson is not very fast and he’s not a great three-point shooter, but his strength, intelligence, and on-the-fly problem solving ability has been a godsend for the Knicks. After so many years with bad point guard play, the Knicks finally have their guy.

7. De’Aaron Fox, G, Sacramento Kings: A year ago, Fox’s shooting had fallen off and the Kings felt like they were stalling out again in their latest rebuild. Fast forward to this year, and Sacramento is the best story in the NBA, largely because their young point guard is having a bounce-back season. Fox’s threes are falling with a bit more regularity, and he’s been better than ever at finishing inside the arc with more shooters around him. Fox continues to be as fast as any guard in the league, and the pairing in the pick-and-roll with Sabonis has been flawless.

6. Anthony Edwards, G, Minnesota Timberwolves: Edwards always had incredible physical tools as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and now he’s fully learned how to use them in his third season. The Wolves guard is averaging career-highs in scoring, assists, rebounds, and steals, and he’s getting his points more efficiently than ever before. This is one of the most explosive athletes in the league, and he just keeps getting better.

5. James Harden, G, Philadelphia 76ers: Harden is a far cry from the player who led the league in scoring three years in a row in Houston, but he’s done well to tailor his game to the Sixers’ needs even without the burst that once made him so deadly. Harden is less of a scorer and more of a true point guard now, establishing himself among the league leaders in assists and looking for teammate Joel Embiid at every opportunity. Harden still looks like his old self at times when he’s bouncing into step-back threes, but Philly’s long-term success depends more on him taking and making spot-ups. More than anything, Harden really needs a good playoff run after so many disappointing ones in his past.

4. Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns: With Booker, the Suns were one of the best teams in the West. Without him, they’re fighting just to make the play-in tournament. A groin strain has kept Booker out since Christmas, but there’s no denying the impact he’s had on his team when healthy. With Chris Paul aging out, Booker has carried a bigger scoring load than ever, and he’s thrived by continuing to refine his deadly midrange game against a set defense. Yes, Booker has missed lots of games, but so have Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson. He’s one of the best players in the West, and deserved this recognition.

3. Anthony Davis, C, Los Angeles Lakers: Davis has been a shell of himself since leading the Lakers to the championship inside the bubble in 2020 due to injuries and a faulty jump shot. This year’s he’s regained his status as one of the best players in the league by sliding to center, and leaving the jumpers behind for more looks at the basket. Davis has re-established himself as one of the best two-way bigs in the league by dominating at the rim on both ends. Now he just needs to prove he can stay healthy: his name might be in the MVP discussion — and the Lakers might be the playoff picture — if he didn’t miss nearly six weeks earlier this year.

2. Jimmy Butler, G, Miami Heat: Butler is almost everything teams want out of a star player: he’s great on both ends of the floor, he’s always getting easy points at the foul line, and he only gets better in the playoffs. Butler’s missed three-pointer that would have sent the Heat to the Finals probably still hurts, but he’s got Miami playing better ball lately after a slow start that mostly happened because he was in and out of the lineup. While Butler still struggles to shoot from deep, his ability to avoid turnovers keeps the Miami offense humming.

1. Pascal Siakam, F, Toronto Raptors: The Raptors might be the most disappointing team in the NBA this year, but Siakam has done his part. The 28-year-old has fully grown into his role as Toronto’s leading man, providing rugged shot creation and versatile defense as a 6’9 forward. He’s making a notable jump in both free throw rate and assist rate this season despite playing on a cramped floor with limited shooting around him. After leading the league in minutes per game last season, Siakam is doing it again at the All-Star break this year. Get this man some help ASAP.