Generally, in the NBA, you’re allowed to carry 15 players per team, 13 of whom are eligible to be active on game night, not including any two-way roster slots. This season, in preparation for unexpected absences (which have been primarily due to COVID-19 protocols), the active roster list has expanded to include 15 players. In either rule, NBA players are mandated to carry more than 12 players per roster. So why are NBA All-Star rosters limited to just 12 players per team?
We have a legitimate collection of snubs every NBA season. This season probably wouldn’t be the one to have had expanded All-Star rosters — or even an All-Star Game to begin with — but going forward, the All-Star rosters should at least be raised to 13 each, if not 15 in total, so that 30 would reflect the amount of NBA teams and the size of the actual rosters.
Karl-Anthony Towns averaged over 25 points and 12 rebounds while hitting 55 percent of his shots in 2016-17 but didn’t make the cut. We all remember Bradley Beal being left out last year despite averaging 30 points per game. And Devin Booker and Rudy Gobert were both unfairly snubbed on multiple occasions before breaking through, while Mike Conley never has and may never will.
This even occurred in the 1990s, with the likes of Rod Strickland in 1997-98, who had been close to 17 points and over 10 assists, later earning Second-Team All-NBA. Drazen Petrovic had been scoring over 23 points per game in 1992-93, and later made All-NBA Third-Team, while powering the New Jersey Nets to the playoffs. And Reggie Miller, similarly to Petrovic, posted 22.4 points per game on 51 percent shooting in 1990-91 pre-All-Star Game, but didn’t receive the honor.
It’s time to increase the rosters. Will there still be snubs? Perhaps, but far less so, and the following list will be evidence of that.