New York Knicks‘ sophomore swingman RJ Barrett was voted for the second straight year to be part of the World Team in the Rising Stars. Curiously, Knicks rookie Immanuel Quickley was left out of the U.S. Team, which had four rookies.
However, the NBA Rising Stars game will not be played this year due to the limitation of having All-Star events all on one night.
Barrett joins fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies), and Mychal Mulder (Golden State Warriors).
Miami Heat forward Precious Achiuwa (Nigeria), Washington Wizards forwards Deni Avdija (Israel), Rui Hachimura (Japan), Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo (Argentina), and Théo Maledon (France) complete the World Team roster.
NBA All-Star Zion Williamson of the Pelicans and the reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant of the Grizzlies banner the U.S. Team.
Two-time reigning Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets, top overall pick Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings guard, and two-time reigning Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month Tyrese Haliburton and James Wiseman of the Warriors made the team were the only rookies selected.
The other sophomores joining Williamson and Morant are Heat guard Tyler Herro, Atlanta Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter, San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Keldon Johnson, and Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.
Quickley, the Knicks’ stellar rookie, was the biggest snub. The 25th pick Quickley is leading all rookies with the most 25-plus point performances this season, with five followed by Ball and Edwards with three each. He also leads all rookies in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) with 18.8, followed by Ball (18.7) and Haliburton (18.2). The Kentucky product also ranks third in free throw percentage in the whole league, shooting 94.2 percent. Only Jordan Clarkson (96.6%) and Chris Paul (95.3%) shoot better than him from the free-throw line. He leads all rookies with 98 total free throws made with Edwards, a distant second with 80, and Ball with 68.
Quickley, who has season averages of 12.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, came in third in the latest NBA Rookie Ladder.
The Rising Stars rosters were determined by the league’s assistant coaches, who were made to select four frontcourt players, four guards, and two additional players at any position for each team.
Voters selected a minimum of three first-year NBA players and three second-year NBA players for each team. The assistant coaches were not permitted to vote for any player on their team. Each of the league’s 30 teams submitted one ballot per coaching staff.
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