On Tuesday, it was revealed that the NBA's head coaches have voted Anthony Davis to be an All-Star reserve, marking the eighth All-Star selection of his career.
Unfortunately for Davis, his availability for the game is up in the air. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Davis is dealing with a calf strain and will be out for four weeks. With the 2021 NBA All-Star Game scheduled for March 7, there's a possibility Davis won't be able to play.
If Davis isn't able to play, it opens up a spot for someone in the Western Conference to replace him. Who would be the most deserving? Our NBA.com Staff weighs in.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): It's gotta be Devin Booker.
I'm honestly of the belief that it should have been Booker over Zion Williamson, with Williamson selected as the alternate. They should definitely both be in but … seniority, you know?
At the end of the day, Booker is an All-Star regardless of how he gets named, but I, for one, am with LeBron James in saying that it's pretty ridiculous to think that if Booker is named an All-Star, it will be as a replacement for the second straight year.
Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that.- LeBron James (@KingJames) February 24, 2021
It's as simple as this: D-Book is averaging 24.7 points while shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. And it's translating to wins! Booker, along with his All-Star backcourt mate in Chris Paul, has the Suns among the top four in the West and the team is well on its way to snapping a 10-year playoff drought.
What more can you ask for?
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm going with Devin Booker as well.
Booker was the toughest omission for me when putting together my reserve ballot. (I had Williamson getting the last wildcard spot over him). His numbers are down ever-so-slightly from last season, but as Gil said, he's still averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds on a Suns team that has the fourth-best record in the NBA, not just the Western Conference. The Suns have been a completely different team with him on the court, scoring at a rate of 118.7 points per 100 possessions compared to 106.3 with him on the bench.
Mike Conley, DeMar DeRozan and De'Aaron Fox also deserve consideration if Davis is unable to play, but if it was up to me, Booker would get my vote.
Yash Matange (@yashmatange2694): Booker is probably going to be the replacement announcement for Davis, but Mike Conley wouldn't be a bad choice either. He's not averaging career highs in any category, but his on-court impact is among the league's best.
Among players to have played 15 or more games this season, Conley leads the league on average plus-minus and is second to only teammate Rudy Gobert in plus-minus totals. The Jazz go from outscoring their opponents by 17.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the court to 1.7 with him on the bench.
If the record is going to be the argument for Booker, the Jazz are owners of the league's best record at 25-6 - nearly three games better than the next-best team and the only franchise to have suffered less than 10 losses. There's more to the Jazz than Conley, but he's taken them to another level this season.
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