Poll: Biggest 2021 NBA All-Star Snub?

There were no undeserving selections among the 14 players named on Tuesday as the 2021 NBA All-Star reserves, but that didn’t mean that certain players who were left off the team don’t have legitimate grievances about missing out.

In both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, there were far more than 12 players who made strong cases for an All-Star spot and could’ve easily made the team in another year in which the competition wasn’t quite so strong.

The abridged nature of this season’s first half made selecting the team even trickier — a top-five seed in a conference may only be a game or two removed from the lottery, making it difficult to know how heavily to weigh a team’s record when considering a player’s case. Additionally, any multi-game absence related to an injury or COVID-19 had to be considered, since some teams have yet to even play 30 games this season.

With that in mind, there were a few players who stood out as the most notable omissions…

Western Conference:

Devin Booker didn’t make the cut despite averaging 24.7 PPG on 50.1% shooting for the 20-10 Suns, prompting LeBron James to call the star guard “the most disrespected player in our league.”

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (22.5 PPG, 7.1 APG), Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22.8 PPG, 6.5 APG), and Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan (19.8 PPG, 6.9 APG) have led their respective teams in both scoring and assists, with DeRozan doing it for a top-five seed in the West.

Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (23.9 PPG, .469/.394/.882) is virtually replicating his numbers from last season, when he was named an All-Star.

And Mike Conley (16.4 PPG, 5.6 APG, .412 3PT%), who has never been named an All-Star, has been one of the most valuable players for the NBA’s best team, the 25-6 Jazz. While Conley’s counting stats are more modest than those of his competitors, most advanced metrics rate him among the NBA’s top players so far this season. Utah has an incredible +17.1 net rating when he plays, compared to +1.7 when he sits, a far more impressive on/off-court split than that of teammate Donovan Mitchell (who was named a reserve).

Eastern Conference:

Bucks forward Khris Middleton and Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis were All-Stars a year ago, but didn’t make the cut this time around, despite posting similar numbers. Despite a recent slump, Middleton is still nearly a member of the 50/40/90 club, having averaged 20.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 5.7 APG on .498/.434/.895 shooting. Meanwhile, Sabonis (21.5 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 5.7 APG) became the first player in history to be left off the team despite being part of the 20/10/5 club (Twitter link via StatMuse).

The Heat have gotten off to a slow start this season, but it’s still surprising that neither Bam Adebayo nor Jimmy Butler was named to the All-Star team after both making the team in 2020.

Adebayo has anchored the defense while improving his offensive output (19.6 PPG, 5.5 APG). As for Butler, he has made his usual two-way impact, leading the team to an 11-8 record in the games he has played, compared to 3-9 when he’s out. Only playing 19 games essentially killed his case, but as John Hollinger of The Athletic observes, Butler has missed fewer games than Kevin Durant, who was rightly considered a slam-dunk starter.

Hawks guard Trae Young is yet another player who had a strong All-Star case this season after making it in 2020. He’s averaging 27.0 PPG and 9.6 APG so far this season, making him the first player in 30 years to average 25+ points and 9+ assists and not be named an All-Star, according to StatMuse (Twitter link).

Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (21.9 PPG on .489/.424/.867 shooting), Sixers forward Tobias Harris (20.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, .517/.415/.889 shooting), and Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (19.8 PPG, 6.7 APG) were also worthy candidates, with VanVleet rated especially highly by advanced metrics.

It may not be worth spending a ton of time bemoaning certain All-Star omissions, since certain players listed above could become injury replacements in the next week or two — Anthony Davis, for one, likely won’t be able to participate in the game, so the West will have to send at least one more player.

Still, now that the 24 initial All-Stars have been named, we want to know what you think: Who is this season’s biggest All-Star snub? And if you had to remove one of the current All-Stars to make room for that snubbed player, who are you taking off the team?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

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42 thoughts on “Poll: Biggest 2021 NBA All-Star Snub?

    • JohnTheSportsFanatic

      Because he has no defense and his play style is extremely frustrating to watch plus the hawks aren’t starting out 2 hot

    • JohnTheSportsFanatic

      I know his annoying play style doesn’t have anything to do with all star voting but his defense is literally worst in the nba and the hawks aren’t doing that well. I was expecting him to make it though

    • takeitback

      About to type the same thing. Averaging 22 and 10 and he can’t get a mention?

      • C-Daddy

        He’s missed 12 of 29 games and the Rockets are 14th in the west. Why would he get a mention?

    • Luke Adams

      I’ll include him in the “Biggest Snub From The Biggest Snub Poll” poll.

  1. Lars MacDonald

    These “snub” related all-star articles are such clickbait.
    It’s really only a “snub” if there’s someone who made the team that is clearly less worthy than the “snubbed” player.

    • I agree every player there deserves to be there, but I can’t believe mike Conley has never been an all star, and with the jazz playing the way they are driven by conley and Mitchell, both should be there

      • PhillyPhan69

        Agreed, TBF there were probably 5-10 guys in each conference that were competing for the final 2 spots or so. Not a snub as much as it is tough competition based upon what stats and styles are important to you. I would love to have seen Tobias selected…I am partial to VanVleet if I had to name one.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Agreed I don’t think there’s anything egregious here.

      Would I be mad if Booker made it. Not at all. But he has a negative BPM and started the year and the west is stacked.

      Randle, Vuc, LaVine … sure there are legit counterarguments to their inclusion. But there are legit arguments against Sabonis, Young, and Bam

  2. phnxdark23

    Trae and Van Vleet based on the numbers they are putting up, but I get the arguments against both. “Snub” has to also mean someone undeserving got the spot instead, and I don’t see any inclusions that scream “unfair”. Sometimes there are just more good players than All Star slots.

  3. phillyballers

    You could take CP3 and Ben Simmons off. The league always has several stat guys that dont make the AS game each year. Usually bc their team is trash.

    But let’s stop with the Mike Conley nonsense. Dude has never deserved an AS bid in the West and maybe, maybe 1x you could argue as a reserve or injury replacement in the East if you didnt do W/E.

    • PhillyPhan69

      Simmons off would be a terrible call. Not sure why a Philly fan would not see just how important and valuable he really is.

  4. formerlyz

    Khris Middleton and Mike Conley. Probably Sabonis too, although it’s hard to get bigs on the roster. Last year was Bookers first time not being a bad player, and he has built on it this year, but there are guys ahead of him. He is on the cusp

  5. bowserhound

    They’re all winners of a free vacation, while the all-stars get to go to Atlanta to work against their will.

    • hiflew

      Not really a free vacation, because some of these guys have All Star bonuses in their contracts which will now not be paid. So it’s more like paying $50,000 to stay home for a few days. Although I have had weeks at work where that still might not be a bad option.

  6. hiflew

    I would have liked to see Mike Conley get in. If we are using team record to determine All Stars, a practice I hate, well the Jazz wouldn’t have the best record in the league without him. It would have been a nice career pat on the back in a year that he actually deserves consideration. Instead they will probably wedge him on the roster sometime in the next few years when he is less deserving.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Not sure if the injury replacement is positional but if it’s not my bet is he replaces Davis

      Altho I may be with Simmons (Bill not Ben) that Conley is better served being The Best Guy To Never Make An AS Team

      • x%sure

        Good notice, but not really a thing, and would be quickly forgotten when he retires in favor of the next “snub”.

        Conley’s been a snub before but that doesn’t seem to boost enough memories, due to Grizzlies not getting attention… at least enough to make up for the attention his salary got (I think once the league’s highest). But at this level, salary jealousy should not be a factor in voting, if it ever should be.
        Some posters resent player salaries like it affects their quality reputation and probably voters do too.

        Chris Paul’s PER is a bit higher but his on/off is only break-even, and the Suns started their resurgence before he got there.

        Also, it is like him, that Leonard, Clarkson & ONeill are all having top campaigns, while Booker is down since Paul joined.

        • x%sure

          cont’d from ^… Suggesting that Conley is always easy to get along with, and has won teammate aeards, while CP3 is known for disagreements, even if he is right, as is likely.

  7. I don’t see many snubs. Some good players were left off because they can only pick 7. In the West, maybe Conley or Booker over CP3? In the East, maybe Sabonis over Vucevic? Some argument, but, in each case, I think they went in the right direction.

    Conley should be put on the team as the first alternate. He’s a career snub; although it’s mostly that he happened to play during a golden era for PGs in the West. Still, he deserves better than the title of best player never to make an AS team.

  8. silhouettesaloon

    it’d be great if we got rid of the East / West designation for this whole thing too, since they’re drafting players, why do they even pretend to matter that the conferences are equal?

    • Northern Expansion 416

      They should add 3 more players for each conference. Rather than 12 players it should really be 15 players per allstar team…

      • Lil_D_Top_3

        As long as teams and players are bound to conferences, the ASG should be too. You can make the same argument about divisions. It’s not that it isn’t relevant, there are just bigger priorities for the league to deal with first.

        And adding roster spots IMO is a dumb move. Why stop at 15? Why not let everyone play? At some point there has to be a cut off. Especially with bonuses dependent on it, don’t think it makes sense to change. Maybe they can address in the CBA but again, bigger priorities out there.

      • buttholesurfer69

        Honestly they can barely play 12 as is

        I think there’s a better argument to cutting it to 10
        and eliminating the pity minutes for the 11-12th men on each side

  9. Ezpkns34

    Snub lists are pointless unless you’re also listing the players that should have been left off instead

  10. So who does LeBron think the NBA SHOULD have disrespected so that Booker could be an all star?

    • sportznut1000

      Exactly this. Thats great that lebron feels booker is “disrespected” but if he wants to post a hot take like that, then just come right out and throw someone under the bus that he believes didnt deserve to make it.
      Like other people said, they are only called “snubs” if someone less deserving made it over them. Only guy i could see is sabonis making it over randle or vucevic. Maybe booker over chris paul but really it feels like paul has had a bigger impact on suns success so far than booker has. The suns werent exactly crushing it last few years with booker leading their way

  11. Northern Expansion 416

    Vanvleet got snubbed, Siakam,Sabonis too. As many people are fanboys for Westbrook, I’m surprised he didn’t make it. In the west; Derozen got snubbed,Booker, Christian Wood and definitely Mccollum…

    • buttholesurfer69

      McCollum has missed time and Siakam is pretty meh on the advanced stats (and Toronto started off poorly as well)

      • Northern Expansion 416

        Simmons started off slowly too. AD wasn’t playing his best. I’m not one to entertain excuses! Raptors have no superstar and are in the playoffs!

        • buttholesurfer69

          Fair fair, if you said to me Van Vleet over Simmons, I wouldn’t disagree. Siakam’s just a tougher sell to me

          • Northern Expansion 416

            Absolutely. We agree on that take… Vanvleet over Simmons for sure, and Siakam…

    • sportznut1000

      Who are you taking off to put derozan, mccollum, wood and booker in? 4 guys all from the west? You cant call them snubs if you are not taking anyone off the roster.

      • Northern Expansion 416

        I can’t think of who to take off, but if I choose to say they got snubbed that is my right. Who is going to prevent me from doing what the hell I want??? Nobody has much that much power.

    • sportznut1000

      Im just gonna guess who you were considering wood, booker, mccollum and derozan should start over. Are you thinking these 4 should have made it over zion, chris paul, paul george and donovan mitchell? I mean did you even consider who would have to be left off or you were still hoping your 15 man roster take would be enough?

  12. El Don

    Top 10 snubbed players in the league EC & WC…
    1/ KAT
    2/ Sabonis
    3/ Bam
    4/ C-Wood
    5/ Trae Young
    6/ Clint Capela
    7/ Butler
    8/ CJ
    9/ SGA
    10/ Tobias Harris

    • buttholesurfer69

      KAT is the #1 snub? He’s played 12 games and Minn is one of the worst teams in the league.

    • Northern Expansion 416

      Trae who thinks he’s Curry but puts flopping & being the player of the game over winning??? His team isn’t even in the playoffs. Raptors with no superstar are in the playoffs and Vanvleet is leading them. Trae definitely did not get snubbed!

      • El Don

        Neither is BOS in the playoffs but JB & JT who are not playin’ as well as Ice Trae are in the team, go figure… right?

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