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Power Rankings 5.0: All-Stars, snubs, and surprises

It's time for the fifth iteration of the weekly bballdistrict Power Rankings! We'll count down each team from worst to best, check in on the state of each squad, and this week we'll take a look at each team's All-Star selections and snubs. (Stay tuned every Sunday for brand new rankings and a new theme!)

* = Starter

Update: Shortly after the publishing of this article, it was announced that Stephen Curry is likely to miss the All-Star Game with a leg injury. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Ja Morant will replace him in the starting lineup. Anthony Edwards and De'Aaron Fox are suspected candidates to be reserve injury replacements.

30. San Antonio Spurs (14-39) (-2)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Spurs system doesn't lend itself to boosting borderline candidates into the All-Star game, but that never came into play, as San Antonio didn't have any borderline candidates. Keldon Johnson was easily the closest, but he still never had a shot. The Spurs are surely much more focused on the upcoming trade deadline than on All-Star weekend.

29. Charlotte Hornets (15-39) (-2)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Charlotte is probably zeroing in on the deadline as well, but they did have one candidate, LaMelo Ball, who would have been more seriously considered if not for his extended period of missed time. Ball finished eighth in weighted voting (player, fan, and media voting ranks) among Eastern Conference guards.

28. Detroit Pistons (14-40) (+2)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Pistons have plenty of All-Star potential on their roster with the likes of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren, but never had much of a shot at sending someone to Salt Lake City this year once Cunningham went down with a season ending shin injury. 20 point per-game scorer and coveted trade chip Bojan Bogdanovic was Detroit's best shot besides Cunningham, but scoring alone just isn't be enough to make it on a tanking team.

27. Houston Rockets (13-40) (+2)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Houston doesn't have much in the way of current All-Star talent either, with their rebuild bringing their team to what Rockets fans certainly hope will be its lowest point. Alperen Sengun is enjoying a stellar year, and Jalen Green finished 16th in fan voting among Western Conference guards, but ultimately Houston won't be accounted for on the final roster.

26. Orlando Magic (21-32) (=)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Paolo Banchero headlines Orlando's group of future studs, and he wasn't even too far from making it to Salt Lake City this year. The Rookie of the Year frontrunner finished in the top eight in not only fan voting, but player voting as well. He's a surefire star, and teammate Franz Wagner may very well join him as the dynamic duo develops.

25. Toronto Raptors (24-30) (-3)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

We've finally reached our first team with a truly controversial snub, as despite the Raptors bad record, Pascal Siakam has been playing outstanding basketball this season. The seven-year veteran is averaging nearly 25 points per game, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Siakam finished ahead of Julius Randle in both player and fan voting, but the coaches - who are the sole voters when it comes to All-Star reserves - decided on the Knicks big man instead, much to the dismay of Canadians everywhere.

24. New Orleans Pelicans (27-27) (-6)

2023 All-Star: Zion Williamson*

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Pelicans' Zion Williamson was one of the biggest surprise choices of this year's All-Star game, being picked as a starter despite playing just 29 games this season. It's Williamson's second career All-Star appearance, and first time starting. One might think his selection is reflective of not valuing games played in an era of rest dominating the NBA, but as we'll see with some snubs later on, voters seem to have selectively decided when to take note of availability.

23. Chicago Bulls (25-27) (+2)

2023 All-Star: DeMar DeRozan

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

DeMar DeRozan was another head-scratching decision, with many - including some Bulls fans - not expecting him to make the cut. The USC product re-established himself as a high-end star last season after a few quiet years in San Antonio, and has kept up similar production on the stat sheet this year. The issue, however, is that Chicago is struggling mightily, causing many to ponder whether they'd done enough to earn an All-Star player. DeRozan edged out candidates such as Siakam, James Harden, and Trae Young.

22. Los Angeles Lakers (25-29) (+1)

2023 All-Star: LeBron James

Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

LeBron James was an All-Star lock, obviously, and was named captain for the sixth straight year. The more controversial decision was Anthony Davis, one of the players we referred to earlier regarding what kind of role missed time plays in voting. Davis has passed up Williamson, logging minutes in 30 games this year. In the early going the former Pelican was considered to be a surefire All-NBAer prior to his injury issues resurfacing, but he didn't get the same leniency as Williamson. It is fair, though, to chalk that up to the Lakers record, as it would be tough to justify giving two All-Stars to a team that currently sits outside the play-in.

21. Washington Wizards (24-28) (=)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Wizards find themselves in familiar territory, as they're kind of just... there when it comes to All-Star weekend picks and snubs. Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma are all somewhere between being very solid players and low-end stars at the moment, with none of them playing quite well enough to be legitimately considered for All-Star honors.

20. Portland Trailblazers (26-27) (+4)

2023 All-Star: Damian Lillard

Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Voting went as expected for Portland, who sent Damian Lillard to the All-Star Game for the seventh time in his eleven year career. And of course, Lillard will be attending the All-Star festivities on his own, as his streak of not having played with an All-Star teammate since Lamarcus Aldridge just got one year longer.

19. Indiana Pacers (25-29) (+1)

2023 All-Star: Tyrese Haliburton

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Knicks commentator Wally Szczerbiak is punching air somewhere after he compared Jalen Brunson to Tyrese Haliburton, calling the Pacers star a "fake All-Star." Well, a few weeks later and Haliburton is going to Utah as the only first-time All-Star in the East, while Brunson will be watching from home. Indiana has now had exactly one player voted into the game in seven of the last eight years.


18. Dallas Mavericks (28-26) (-1)

2023 All-Star: Luka Doncic*

Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Luka Doncic will be representing the Mavericks in Salt Lake City as expected. He was named a starter for the Western Conference without much debate, finishing second to Stephen Curry in fan voting, but first in the media and player votes. The Slovenian superstars injury status is worth monitoring as we approach All-Star weekend, though he is expected to be healthy by then.

17. Phoenix Suns (29-26) (+2)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

If before the season started you would've predicted that the Phoenix Suns wouldn't have a single All-Star selection, you'd probably be called crazy, but you would've also been right. Chris Paul's age is showing, and Deandre Ayton appears to be satisfied with just collecting his bag. Devin Booker has been strong, averaging a career high in points, but he's another member of the 29 games-played club who didn't get the benefit of the doubt. Paul George and Jaren Jackson Jr were among those who beat out Booker.

16. Utah Jazz (27-27) (=)

2023 All-Star: Lauri Markkanen

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Have a season, Lauri Markkanen. The product of Finland was moved to Utah from Cleveland in the Donovan Mitchell deal, leaving some sizeable shoes to be filled, and man, did he ever come through. Markkanen is averaging nearly 25 points - over six more than his previous best season average - with a career high in assists, and over eight rebounds per game. Not only that, but every part of his slash line is a career best as well. It's a well-deserved honor for the seven-footer, who's sure to be the fan favorite in front of the hometown crowd.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves (28-27) (=)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Timberwolves aren't thrilled right now. Minnesota has quietly righted the ship, performing plenty well enough to get an All-Star nod for someone, but the invitation never came for third-year star Anthony Edwards, nor for three-time All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns or Rudy Gobert. Edwards was clearly the most deserving, but didn't make the cut, and even told the media, "I knew I wasn't gonna get in." Fear not though, Wolves fans, as Edwards went on to say, "I will next year, so I ain't trippin." See you in Indiana in 2024, Anthony.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder (25-27) (-2)

2023 All-Star: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

It was only a matter of time for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who's been steadily improving each year of his career. Now he gets his first All-Star nod as he's near-singlehandedly carried the Thunder out of the Wembanyama sweepstakes by averaging over 30 point per game. The starting backcourt in the West was ultimately too established for SGA to break into, but it's still a very well deserved achievement for the Kentucky product.

13. Los Angeles Clippers (30-26) (+1)

2023 All-Star: Paul George

Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images

It was a very interesting year for the Clippers when it came to All-Star voting. Paul George ended up securing the Clips' single roster spot, likely as a result of his more frequent availability, but Kawhi Leonard was worthy of consideration as well. Leonard's played solid basketball all season, and really came into form over the past month or so. He's another player in the same realm of games played (30, 28 starts) as Zion Williamson, but was left out.

12. Golden State Warriors (27-26) (-1)

2023 All-Star: Stephen Curry*

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Dubs fans showed out en masse for fan voting as always, putting the likes of Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney in the top 10 at their positions, but since fan voting only determines starters, Golden State will have to settle for just sending ole' reliable, Stephen Curry. It's Curry's ninth career selection, and he'll start, as usual.

11. Atlanta Hawks (27-27) (+2)

2023 All-Stars: None

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Trae Young, who was named a starter for last year's All-Star Game, was not only left off of the roster entirely, but even seems to be getting snubbed from snub lists. His efficiency is down and the Hawks have been up and down this season, but it's fair to ask what more Young is supposed to do, as his 27 point, ten assist averages weren't enough to move him into the lineup.

10. Miami Heat (29-25) (-2)

2023 All-Star: Bam Adebayo

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Whether it's surprising or not is up for debate, but it's two-time All-Star Bam Adebayo getting the nod in Miami over six-timer Jimmy Butler. Adebayo has been one of the best bigs in basketball, making it a well-deserved selection. Butler finished ahead of Adebayo in fan voting, but the coaches elected to go with the man they call Bam. Regardless, one All-Star is probably fair for the Heat, who currently hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

9. New York Knicks (28-26) (=)

2023 All-Star: Julius Randle*

Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Speaking of picking one teammate over the other, the Knicks representative is highly controversial. Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson have both been playing All-Star caliber ball this season, but only one could realistically make it. That ended up being Randle, who gets the honor for the second time, but many feel that Brunson, as he enjoys a career year in the Big Apple.

8. Memphis Grizzlies (32-20) (-2)

2023 All-Stars: Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr

Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Ja Morant was a layup of a selection, or in his case, maybe more of a slam-dunk. But Jaren Jackson Jr was... much more complicated. From potentially fraudulent home scorekeeping to counting not only games, but minutes played, there was no shortage of debate around the choice to make the Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner an All-Star. Jackson has played five more games than Anthony Davis, his primary competition for the All-Star spot, but many point to minutes per game, which show that the two have played essentially the same amount of basketball this season. Additionally, a large contingent of fans aren't sure if Jackson's defense outweighs some of Davis' dominant two-way performances this season. Is there a right answer? Probably not. Will the debate ever end? Definitely not.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers (32-22) (+3)

2023 All-Star: Donovan Mitchell*

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Donovan Mitchell backed into a starting spot despite having slowed down ever since historic 71 point performance in early January, but his backcourt-mate Darius Garland wasn't so lucky. Garland's counting stats and efficiency both stayed essentially the same even with the addition of Mitchell to the Cavaliers, but there was just too much talent in the Eastern Conference backcourt, leaving Garland as one of the many players on the outside looking in.

6. Brooklyn Nets (32-20) (+1)

2023 All-Stars: Kevin Durant*, Kyrie Irving*

Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Well, it's safe to say things have taken a drastic turn for the Brooklyn Nets. After becoming the only team to have two players selected as All-Star starters this season, it's possible that Brooklyn won't be represented at all in Utah. Kevin Durant is making an concerted effort to return from injury in time to play in the big game, but it's currently unclear whether that'll happen. Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, has had enough of the Nets, and recently requested a trade. Nets owner Joe Tsai and GM Sean Marks are now determined to move him, likely out of conference.

5. Sacramento Kings (29-22) (=)

2023 All-Star: Domantas Sabonis

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The city of Sacramento truly felt deserving of two All-Star selections in what's been the most fun season in a long time for Kings fans. Unfortunately for them, De'Aaron Fox wasn't able to make it over the likes of Damian Lillard or Jaren Jackson Jr. They'll still be represented, though, as Domantas Sabonis has proved that the Tyrese Haliburton trade wasn't as ridiculous as many thought.

4. Boston Celtics (37-16) (=)

2023 All-Stars: Jayson Tatum*, Jaylen Brown

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are one of three teams to send two players to Utah, and deservedly so. Jay and Jay have been on a tear all season, with Tatum playing at an MVP level. Top-seeded Boston is certainly worthy of having two representatives, so there shouldn't be much debate here.

3. Denver Nuggets (37-16) (=)

2023 All-Star: Nikola Jokic*

Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

Nikola Jokic has still never played with an All-Star teammate. Jokic slid into the crop of starters with ease, but he'll be unaccompanied by another Nugget once again. Jamal Murray is playing at a high level, but simply not high enough to get the honors in such a loaded talent pool.

2. Philadelphia 76ers (34-17) (-1)

2023 All-Star: Joel Embiid*

Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Philadelphia is certainly not feeling the brotherly love after this year's All-Star voting. First Joel Embiid was left to be the odd man out among the four elite Eastern Conference frontcourt players competing for three starting spots. He easily made the reserve pool, but that wasn't much consolation. Then, James Harden wasn't included in the group of reserves despite averaging 21/6/11 on higher efficiency than last season (when he was an All-Star). Overall, it's a head scratching decision by the Eastern Conference coaches to hang Harden out to dry.

1. Milwaukee Bucks (36-17) (+1)

2023 All-Stars: Giannis Antetokounmpo*, Jrue Holiday

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

And that bring us to the team that benefitted from Harden's snub. Jrue Holiday was the man that snuck in over Harden, clearly due to his defense and the Bucks ever so slightly better record than the 76ers. While Holiday certainly deserves to have far more than two All-Star selections after the illustrious career he's had, to suddenly give him one in a year with more top-end talent than ever is puzzling to say the least. In other news, Giannis Antetokounmpo was unsurprisingly chosen as a starter once again, and will be the other captain alongside LeBron James.

That does it for this week's bballdistrict Power Rankings! Come back next week to see the updated rankings, risers and fallers, and check out our new weekly theme!

Disagree with our placement of your team? Let us know in the comments below!


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