Many Hawks fans felt disrespected when Trae Young was snubbed from the 2021 All-Star game over guys like Mike Conley, Devin Booker, and Kyrie Irving, who all averaged nearly the same or fewer points and assists than Young. What has to be understood about the All-Star game is the voting system is built in a way where the fan vote accounts for more than anything else.
The fan vote accounts for 50% of the total vote to determine the starters; current players and media members split the other 50%. Each vote consists of two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference, so Chris Paul averaging fewer points and assists in the West isn’t something I can necessarily complain about. Reserves are chosen by head coaches, while Adam Silver is in charge of injury replacements.
So even though Trae Young should’ve inarguably been in the game, this brought up an interesting thought: Who is the best active player to never make an All-Star appearance? Is it John Collins?
Lamar Odom, Cedric Maxwell, Ron Harper, and Jason Terry are some notable names that have never made an All-Star appearance, but some of the best players right now that haven’t been elected are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, De’Aaron Fox, Jamal Murray, Malcolm Brogdon, Fred VanVleet, Tobias Harris, and CJ McCollum.
The Hawks are better than the Thunder, Kings, Nuggets, Pacers, Raptors, 76ers, and Trail Blazers. I say this because John Collins‘ stat line is affected by the bevy of scoring options Atlanta has compared to these other teams. JC is a 25 and 10 guy on most NBA teams. The other notables that haven’t made an All-Star team yet are Fox, McCollum, Harris, and SGA. All of those guys are All-Star caliber players, but for whatever reason they have yet to receive the nod. However, I wouldn’t say any of them are significantly better than Collins, who might have made the All-Star game two seasons ago if it weren’t for a failed drug test that led to a suspension.
If we are talking about both conferences, the nod goes to Fox, SGA or McCollum. They are probably on the next tier above Collins. But if we go by conference, Collins might just be the best player in the East that has yet to make an All-Star game. I give him a slight edge over Harris because Collins’ numbers would look a lot better if he played on a team like the Sixers, where he would be asked to be the second scoring option much more often.