The league announced on Wednesday the full roster for rookies and sophomores who will be going to Toronto for the All-Star weekend event known as the 2016 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.
The rookie class has been particularly impressive and with plenty of rising talents from the second-year group, there should be a spirited competition among those who qualified. Rookie of the Year favorite Karl-Anthony Towns facing off against both Andrew Wiggins and Kristaps Porzingis, in particular, should bring all kinds of fun.
Included in the list of players who made the team are teammates Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell. Despite what is considered a disastrous season for the Los Angeles Lakers, the two guards have shown signs of being building blocks for the future of the franchise. Excluded from that list was second-year player Julius Randle, who is nearly averaging a double-double this season. Roy Hibbert took notice of the omission and defended his teammate:
— Roy Hibbert (@Roy_Meets_World) January 28, 2016
Among those who qualified for the U.S. Team, the only forward Randle may have had a chance to supplant was Jabari Parker, who is a starter on his team and averaging 11.4 points on 48.8 percent shooting to go with 4.6 rebounds this year. Randle is averaging 10.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, but is shooting just 40.4 percent from the field.
Jim Park is a blogger and Tweet of the Night author of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.