The Sacramento Kings will be represented at this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, as rookie Davion Mitchell and second-year Tyrese Haliburton were named to the Rising Stars roster as outstanding youth in the league. For the first time, the teams will include first-years, sophomore talents and four G-League Ignite players as a showcase for the young prospects who are up-and-coming in the association.
Haliburton has been a diamond in the rough season that is Sacramento’s roller coaster of a year. In 48 games played the guard is averaging 14.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists. The Kings are continuing to water the seeds planted in the shape of the 2020 12th overall draft pick, and will be among the pool of players to inaugurate the latest format of the competition.
Mitchell has put his defensive stamp on this team’s identity, shifting a culture from disdain for the clamps to a group with aspirations for change protecting the cup. In his rookie outing, Off Night is averaging 9.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
This year’s Rising Stars Challenge will consist of four teams, who will play three separate games in a round-robin, tournament style on the first night of All-Star Weekend. Rather than a traditional match-up, however, the winner of each contest will be decided by a target score - with the finale of the game consisting of a made shot rather than time expiring.
In the first round, teams will have a target goal of 50 while the final game will have a smaller goal of 25 points. The sum of 75 points scored will be in honor of the NBA’s season-long efforts to pay homage to its diamond anniversary.
The real kicker: in between games there will be a Clorox Clutch Challenge as described by the NBA:
A total of eight NBA and NBA G League Ignite players will be divided into four teams of two and compete to make shots from five locations on the court tied to iconic shots made in the NBA Playoffs.
Haliburton and Mitchell will certainly have their work cut out in this new iteration of the Rising Stars Challenge. As we’ve seen it evolve over the years from Rookies vs. Sophomores to Team USA vs. Team World, the addition of the G League will provide an opportunity to get more eyes on the greener prospects all in one location.