Bulls’ star Zach LaVine snubbed as ASG starter for Trae Young

Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

With the starters being announced from each conference on the night of Jan. 27 for the All-Star Game, the Chicago Bulls figured out that star shooting guard Zach LaVine would not be the one player representing their team in this regard. While it looks like LaVine is still essentially a lock to be an All-Star reserve for the second year in a row, he won’t be a starter.

Star forward and now five-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan did get the lone spot as a starter for the All-Star Weekend festivities next month. That left LaVine out as a potential reserve selection. We could also see center Nikola Vucevic get his third-career All-Star nod.

Yet, the likeliest outcome here is that the Bulls will see DeRozan represent the team as a starter and LaVine as a reserve. Many believe that LaVine deserved to be a starter in the All-Star Game this year, though. The other spot among the All-Star starters for Eastern Conference guards went to the Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young.

Getting the second All-Star nod of his career, Young is having a solid season with the Hawks. There is a good argument, though, for LaVine to get this starting All-Star nod over Young.

Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine gets snubbed for Trae Young among All-Star starters

Statistically, both LaVine and Young had good arguments to be an All-Star starter this year. Young has averaged around 28 points per game, four rebounds, nine assists, one steal, no blocks, and four turnovers while shooting 45 percent from the field, 38 percent from beyond the arc, and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Meanwhile, LaVine has averaged around 25 points per game, five rebounds, five assists, one steal, 0.5 blocks, and three turnovers while shooting around 49 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the arc, and 87 percent from the free-throw line.

The counting stats and shooting percentages between Young and LaVine are pretty close. Granted, Young does hold the edge significantly in assists and a decent one in points.

But the argument that works in LaVine’s favor mainly has to do with winning efforts. Oftentimes, LaVine was excluded from the All-Star conversation thanks to a lack of success in the win column for the Bulls.

Now that the Bulls are sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference standings through the first half of the season, it still doesn’t look like LaVine is getting the benefit of the doubt. While the Hawks were largely underwhelming through the first half of the season, the Bulls are one of the most improved teams in the league.

Yet, that respect isn’t getting paid to LaVine over Young in the All-Star starter selection process. That is where LaVine still has a qualm.

All in all, it would be fun to see DeRozan and LaVine both as All-Star starters. But seeing them both playing together in the All-Star Game will be fun enough. It’s great to see the Bulls likely getting two All-Star selections in the mix this season. Getting LaVine his second straight All-Star nod is also big.

Next. 3 trades to get Pascal Siakam from the Raptors. dark

Between the trio of LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic, it looks like the Bulls will now have nine All-Star selections on this team. That is a solid number. And it is still possible that if Vucevic gets the nod too, the Bulls get to double digits.