2023 NBA All-Star Friday’s Rising Stars Game: Who are the best players to watch?
The NBA’s 2023 All-Star Weekend kicks off this Friday, February 17 with the Rising Stars Game set to showcase a ton of young talent.
The NBA All-Star Weekend begins today! Friday night finishes off with the Rising Stars Game, which will see the NBA’s best young players in their first and second years compete against each other in a mini-tournament.
NBA All-Star Weekend: Don’t miss Friday’s events!
The tournament begins at 9 p.m. ET at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The player draft was held by former NBA All-Stars Pau Gasol, Deron Williams, and Joakim Noah, who will coach three of the four teams. The fourth team is the G League team, coached by Utah Jazz assistant coach Jason Terry.
Gasol, who had the first pick in the draft, came away with some of the best players, including the favorite for Rookie of the Year this year, Paolo Banchero, and last year’s ROY Scottie Barnes.
2023 NBA All-Star: Rising Stars Game complete rosters
Team Jason (G League)
Players to watch in the NBA Jordan Rising All-Stars Game
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic - Team Pau
Magic rookie Paolo Banchero was the no. 1 pick overall by Pau Gasol. He leads the rookies in the league right now with 19.0 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. He is currently on track to be the first rookie since Luka Doncic (2018-19) to average 20 points per game. So far, he has 29 20-plus-point performances, four times reaching 30 points.
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings - Team Pau
Murray was selected 18th overall in the Rising Stars draft. He received back-to-back Rookie of the Month awards for December and January and is already a top 20 three-point shooter, shooting 48 three-pointers in January alone (the most a rookie has ever made in January). He recently had a career-high 30 points against the Houston Rockets and is averaging 11.9 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, and shooting 41.5% from the three-point distance.
Benedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers - Team Pau
Mathurin has been having a stellar rookie year so far, with 17.2 points per game, second among the rookies in scoring average only to Banchero. He recently surpassed Pacers legend Reggie Miller for most points off the bench by a Pacers rookie. He has scored 20+ points in 22 games, 21 of which were off the bench. Mathurin is averaging 5.4 points per fourth quarter, ranking third behind Norman Powell and Tyrese Maxey.
Jabari Smith Jr., Houston Rockets - Team Joakim
The no. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft last year, Smith Jr. is averaging 12 points a game and seven rebounds. It’s been a bit of a rough start for Smith Jr. with the Rockets, who have the NBA’s worst record at 13-45. After being told he would be signed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and they ended up passing him up for Chet Holmgren, Smith Jr. is trying to make the best of the season. Despite the Rockets’ poor season, it will be interesting to see how he performs in the Rising Stars Game.
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