By Matt Citak
Last night, the NBA announced the final roster for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. 14 reserves (seven from each conference), selected by the league’s coaches, were voted in to join the 10 starters that had already sealed their spots in the All-Star festivities. 24 of the most talented basketball players in the world will represent the NBA in Los Angeles next month. However, there were several notable players left off this year’s All-Star roster that were more than worthy of making it.
The players on this list likely will not be happy with the decision made by the coaches. In fact, a few of them have already taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure about being left off the All-Star roster. However with only 24 available spots, not every player deserving of the honor will actually be named an All-Star.
With that said, here are the NBA’s biggest All-Star snubs.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
2017-18 Stats: 14.3 ppg, 15.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.2 blkpg
Drummond is likely this year’s biggest All-Star snub. The 6-foot-11 big man has been consistent all year, despite the Pistons enduring an up-and-down season. Drummond has improved his free-throw shooting from 38.6 percent last season to 62.9 percent this season, while racking up a career-high 3.9 assists per game (his previous career-high was a mere 1.1 apg). The 24-year-old is shooting 54.3 percent from the field on his way to averaging 14.3 points per game, while his 15.0 rebounds per game currently leads the entire NBA.
To put it simply, it makes zero sense that Drummond was not voted into his second career All-Star Game. The big man made sure to let the world know how he felt about the snub last night.
Guess I gotta start doing back flips after every point I score to get attention around here!
Lmao on to the next
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) January 24, 2018
Chris Paul, Houston Rockets
2017-18 Stats: 19.1 ppg, 8.9 apg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 stlpg
This one is another head-scratcher. Yes, Paul has missed 17 of Houston’s 45 games this season. But when he’s been on the court for the Rockets, Paul has been arguably the best point guard in the league. His 8.9 assists per game is tied with teammate James Harden for the third-most in the NBA, and his 3.47 assists per turnover is the third-best mark among players averaging at least 25 minutes per game. Paul is also shooting a career-best 91.1 percent from the free-throw line, while his 5.9 rebounds per game is the highest mark of his career.
Houston currently sports the second-best record in the NBA at 33-12. But in games that Paul has played in, their record is an impressive 23-5. And when Paul, Harden, and Clint Capela all play together, Houston is a whopping 17-0. Paul should be an All-Star, but the extra rest could end up being a blessing in disguise for the 32-year-old point guard.
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 Stats: 20.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.1 stlpg
George is one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and is still widely considered a top-15 player, which makes his All-Star snub a puzzling one. Yes, his scoring numbers are down a bit now that he is sharing the ball with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City. But he is still averaging almost 21 points per game to go with 5.6 boards, 3.0 assists, and he currently ranks second in the league with 2.1 steals per game. PG13 leads the NBA with 4.4 deflections per game, and is also enjoying the highest shooting percentage from the three-point line of his career at 42.2 percent.
While George’s scoring may have dropped by almost 3 points per game, it’s still quite clear that he deserved to be an All-Star. PG13 is a legitimate NBA Defensive Player of the Year candidate, while still serving as a dead-eye shooter. The 27-year-old may be missing out on a weekend in Los Angeles this time, but depending on what he decides in the offseason, he could be seeing a lot more of the Staples Center next season.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
2017-18 Stats: 16.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.3 stlpg
Jokic hasn’t been quite as effective as he was last year during his breakout campaign, but is still putting together a very strong season. The 6-foot-10 center is averaging a double-double with his 16.2 points and 10.4 rebounds, yet that isn’t even the most impressive part about his game. Jokic ranks second among all centers in assists per game with 5.0, trailing only DeMarcus Cousins’ 5.2 apg. It’s not often you see a team run its offense with their big man as the primary initiator, but because of Jokic’s tremendous abilities as a passer and facilitator, it has worked for the Nuggets.
While his defense has been an issue in the past, Jokic looks much improved on that end of the court this season. Denver is allowing fewer points per 100 possessions with Jokic on the court, while rebounding better and fouling less frequently. Jokic is proving to the league that this notion he can’t play defense is simply not true. The Serbian big man deserved his first trip to the All-Star Game this year, but at just 22-years-old, Jokic has a bright future (filled with many All-Star appearances) ahead of him.
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 Stats: 16.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.2 stlpg
Okay maybe Simmons doesn’t quite belong in the same category of All-Star snubs as the other names on this list. But the All-Star Weekend is supposed to be all about entertaining the fans, right? And is there anything more entertaining than a 6-foot-10, rookie point guard who serves as a triple-double threat each and every night he takes the court? I didn’t think so. What Simmons has been able to do in his rookie season is nothing short of amazing. The fact that he can have such an impact on the offensive end of the court, despite not being a shooter in the slightest bit, is incredibly impressive. Just look at his season averages.
Simmons didn’t make the All-Star Game this year, but this could be one of the last times that happens for the next 15 years or so. As long as he can stay healthy, the 21-year-old versatile guard has a long, promising career ahead of him. And with the 76ers’ record hovering around .500, they were lucky to get even one All-Star in the game. But boy, it would have been very fun to see Simmons and Joel Embiid go head-to-head as opponents.
Matt Citak is a producer for CBS Local Sports and a proud Vanderbilt alum. Follow him on Twitter or send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.