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Irving, Lillard lead selections for All-Star Rising Stars (rookie/sophomore game)

Jan 30, 2013, 4:17 PM EDT

BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Getty Images

Friday night of All-Star weekend is when the NBA likes to show off it’s future All-Stars. Or, at least the guys who seem like they are going to stick around the league for a while.

It’s the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge — what the rest of us still call the rookie/sophomore game. Although for the second year in a row the teams of rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams selected by Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley during the TNT pregame show Feb. 7. This morning, PBT’s D.J. Foster and I took our shot at picking the teams.

Wednesday the official list of players came out and it features the big names you expected — Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and more. Here is the pool of players

Sophomores:
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons)
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic)
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats)

Freshmen:
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets)
Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats)
Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers
Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Each team chosen by Barkley/Shaq will have nine players for a shortened game that traditionally features less defense than the All-Star Game itself and is filled with some ridiculous shots because of it.

Check out the teams D.J. Foster and I picked for our game. It follows this pool pretty closely with a few differences — they do not have Ricky Rubio available, but as he is in his second season we took him (they had Shved in there instead). Rather than Vucevic we had Andrew Nicholson, who Foster likes better. Rather than Tristan Thompson I chose Jared Sullinger, and I also took Isaiah Thomas and had him playing, they went bigger with Zeller.

But this is a good group of athletes and shooters — it should be a fun game come Feb. 15.

  1. mannchise - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    No Jimmy Butler?

  2. sportsnut101 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Jimmy butler just started to play in last tw weeks lol Im bulls fan I don’t know why it took a injury to deng to give him more minutes. There’s no great 2g in front of him. N deng needs to play less minutes sumtimes. Averages almost 39

  3. nygdriveforfive - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Terrence Ross deserves a look at least. He has played well in limited minutes.

  4. earoyce - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    No Shumpert?

  5. jmag420 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    No Sullinger…? Rubio…?

  6. minnesotablizzard - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Not having Rubio, the games most dramatic passer is completely idiotic when you’re trying to showcase the skills of the young stars. Rubio would be dropping ridiculous dimes in this all star game format and I feel we as fans are being robbed of an experience.

  7. themagicfanguy - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Glad Vucevic made it, but would have been nice to see Nicholson get a shot too.

  8. ljl2 - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    If Kyrie plays this game, one of those two should try to draft all of the Cavs and Harrison Barnes.

  9. stoudemelo - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Pablo Prigioni?

  10. smararike - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Reblogged this on The Commentary Box.

  11. latchbeam - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Sullinger is a rookie, Thompson is in his second year… How would Sullinger replace Thompson??

    • dko83 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:42 AM

      I was just thinking this. But I still agree with Sullinger over Thompson, if that was even elgible..

  12. latchbeam - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    4 Cavs!!

  13. dko83 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Can’t wait to see Faried dunk on these rookies.

  14. kavika6 - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    Kawhi Leonard – The best defensive player on the list.

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