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5 biggest NBA All-Star snubs in 2023, including James Harden and Jalen Brunson

nba all-star snubs
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Every year around the NBA, there’s a debate about the top All-Star snubs. Everyone has an opinion.

There’s always a few players who are deserving of a nod that don’t get selected. For these players, that could be the difference from collecting a nice little bonus and missing out on a million or so in cold hard cash.

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle received a bonus of $1.2 million for making the Eastern Conference NBA All-Star Team. Others missed out, including New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson.

Before we give you our top-five NBA All-Star snubs, let give a brief run down on the rosters for both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference after the reserves were announced on Thursday.

Related: Ranking all 10 NBA All-Star Game starters

NBA All-Star Game Western Conference roster

NBA: All Star Game-Team Durant at Team LeBron
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Starters

  • Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
  • LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
  • Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Reserves

  • Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
  • Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
  • Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz
  • Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings

Related: Updated NBA power rankings

NBA All-Star Game Eastern Conference roster

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Starters

  • Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
  • Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
  • Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Reserves

  • Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
  • Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
  • DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
  • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers
  • Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Julius Randle, New York Knicks

Now that we know the 24 players who have been selected to the game, let’s check in on the biggest NBA All-Star snubs of 2023.

Jalen Brunson, De’Aaron Fox lead list of biggest NBA All-Star snubs of 2023

There’s other names that could be mentioned here. Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers come to mind. But here are the five we came up with.

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers

nba all-star snubs: james harden
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Despite missing 16 games to injury this season, Harden has been at his prior MVP level when on the court for Philadelphia. He’s averaging 21.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 11.0 assists while shooting what would be a career-high 39% from three-point range.

What makes Harden one of the biggest NBA All-Star snubs of 2023 is the fact that he’s playing at a much higher level than the past two seasons despite earning nods both years. His resume also includes Philadelphia boasting a 20-6 record since he’s returned from injury.

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

nba all-star snubs: jalen brunson
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What the heck does Brunson have to do in order to get credit? He’s played like a true superstar in his first season with the Knicks, averaging 22.8 points and 6.2 assists on 47% shooting. Brunson is also nailing 39% of his three-point attempts.

Over the course of his previous 14 games ahead of being snubbed Thursday evening, Brunson was averaging 29.1 points on 44% shooting from distance. He has New York as a playoff contender back east. He should be an All-Star. In reality, Brunson deserved this nod over both Tyrese Haliburton and Jrue Holiday.

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Inconsistent? Sure. Absolutely dominating at times? Yes. That’s the story of this 21-year-old former top pick. But the All-Star Game should include entertainment value. Edwards would’ve brought that to the table.

As it is, the former NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up has been so darn good thus far in 2022-23. Edwards is averaging 24.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists while hitting on 46% of his shots. An argument could be made that he deserved this nod over Paul George.

De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

NBA: Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, Sabonis is getting all of the respect for Sacramento’s turnaround this season. That’s crazy given that Fox has been in it for the long haul and has upped his game big time under new head coach Mike Brown.

How good has Fox been this season? He’s dropped over 30 points 14 times and has boasted nine-plus assists 13 other times. All said, the 25-year-old guard is averaging 24.3 points and 6.1 assists on a resounding 51% shooting. He’s doing this for a Kings team that’s currently the third seed out west.

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Atlanta’s down season, Young continues to fill up the stat sheet. The dude is averaging 27.0 points and a resounding 9.9 assists. Sure his shooting splits are down (43% from the field, 32% from distance). But Young’s overall game has been stellar.

It’s interesting to look at. Young earned a trip to the exhibition game back in 2019-20 before missing out the following season and returning to the “elite group” last year. Now, he’s one of the biggest NBA All-Star snubs this time around.

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