The NBA announced selections for the Rising Stars Challenge on Wednesday, and no Sacramento Kings will be participating. The game, previously known as the Rookie-Sophomore game, now features first and second year players split between a US and an international team.
Rosters for the Rising Stars Challenge pic.twitter.com/hQHgb6yCHV— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 25, 2017
It’s not surprising that no Kings rookies made the cut, since Malachi Richardson has seen the most minutes by far but still has only seen the court for 60 minutes. Last season it seemed that Willie Cauley-Stein might be on pace for an appearance this year, but a slow start and limited opportunities deprived the Kings big man of his chance.
It’s a disturbing reminder that even guys like Marquese Chriss and Jahlil Okafor, who haven’t set the league on fire with their play, are still clear choices over Cauley-Stein. That said, making the Rising Stars challenge is rarely a prerequisite for a successful career in the NBA. There’s still time for Willie and the rookies.
As it currently stands, the only King expected to be involved in any All Star festivities is DeMarcus Cousins, who is widely expected to make the roster a reserve. Reserves will be officially announced on Thursday.