The Rising Stars to Follow During NBA All-Star Weekend

Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons. Image: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images.

While names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry are etched in NBA immortality, there are a number of up-and-coming players who are making their presence and skills known to the world.

NBA All-Star Weekend is a showcase of all the talent throughout the league and many players, who are not as well-known as the established stars, are ready to make their mark. From the Rising Stars Challenge, Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest, Slam Dunk Contest, and the All-Star Game, many of the league’s brightest players will have their time to shine.

Below is a catch up on some of the players that are making major moves in the league.

Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons

Chosen as the number one pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, Cade Cunningham started the season slowly due to injury but has since shown the league his enormous potential. Since his return to the court, Cunningham has proven to be the cornerstone of this team, the Pistons.He was named the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in January.

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets

Without question, LaMelo Ball is must-see TV. The youngest of the Ball clan, he solidified his status as one of the rising stars of the league by winning Rookie of the Year last season. Ball has taken his game to another level this season by keeping the Hornets in the playoff hunt and was named to his first All-Star game.

Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors

From day one, Scottie Barnes has been a great fit with the Toronto Raptors. With his versatility, Barnes can play and guard several positions, making him an ideal player in today’s game. Throughout this season, Barnes has displayed that he has the potential to help turn his back into an A-1 contender.

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers

A defensive specialist, Jarret Allen has gained a reputation as one of the top centers in the league. He is a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers young core, which has made the team as one of the most unexpected surprising elements this season as they battle for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. For his stout defense, Allen was named to his first All-Star game.

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

Anthony “Ant-Man” Edwards is not only one of the most dynamic young players in the game but he gives some of the best interviews. The first pick of the 2020 Draft, Edwards burst on the scene with his unique skill set and athleticism, instantly ranking him as one the most exciting young players. Behind his play, the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to make the playoffs.

Jalen Green, Houston Rockets

Since he arrived in the league, Jalen Green has been touted as one of the top rookies to watch. Green is making waves throughout the Association and is a major component in the future of the Houston Rockets. This All-Star weekend, Green will compete in the Rising Stars Challenge and the Slam Dunk Contest.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic

The son of a former NBA player (Greg Anthony) basketball is in Cole Anthony’s DNA. Anthony has already exhibited a love for big moments by knocking down several game-winning shots in his brief career. Making his presence known this weekend, Anthony is competing in the Rising Star Challenge and the Slam Dunk Contest.

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

One of the top guards in the league, Darius Garland is putting the league on notice that he’s a force to be reckoned with. With his play this season, he’s helped to make the Cleveland Cavaliers one of the contenders in the Eastern Conference. For his first All-Star selection, Garland will represent the Cavs in the city of Cleveland.

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers

Traded at the deadline to the Pacers from the Sacramento Kings, Tyreese Haliburton is an ascending talent. Known for his combination of ball-handling, shooting, and playmaking, Haliburton can do it all on the court. The versatile swingman is set to be one of the pillars of the Pacer’s bright future.

Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic

After a stellar career at Gonzaga University, Jalen Suggs has made a seamless transition into the NBA. Suggs is a tenacious defender and a highlight waiting to happen. He is primed to be one of the premiere players in the league.

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

The third overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, Mobley has proven to be an extremely versatile seven-footer in his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s averaging 14.7 points and 8 rebounds a game and is one of the major reasons that the Cavs are in third place in the Eastern Conference.

Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers

As the new starting point guard for the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey is ready to take his team and his game to new heights. Emerging as a floor general with enormous potential, Maxey’s skills will be on display during the Rising Stars Challenge and as an injury replacement for the Clutch Challenge.

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Simply put, Ja Morant is one of the most electrifying players in the league today. With his other-wordly athleticism, skillset, and leadership, Ja has the Memphis Grizzlies surging as one of the best teams in the Western Conference. Averaging 26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.9 assists, Ja was voted as a starter in his first All-Star game.

Dejountae Murray, San Antonio Spurs

In the storied history of the San Antonio Spurs, Dejountae Murray is its next franchise player. He’s mostly been under the radar allowing him to develop his game on the way; however, he is now getting the recognition that he deserves. This is Murray’s first time being named an NBA All-Star.

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