The Utah Jazz already know coach Quin Snyder will be on hand at the NBA All-Star festivities on March 7, as head coach of the Western Conference team.
The question is, which Jazz players will join him in Atlanta?
While Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert weren’t named to the starting lineup when the league unveiled the All-Star starters Thursday, both are expected to earn their second All-Star invites. The All-Star reserves will be named on Tuesday.
Point guard Mike Conley is seen as another All-Star option from the Jazz, who currently sport the NBA’s best record.
Charles Barkley, the former 11-time All-Star who now works on the NBA on TNT crew, threw another Utah player into the ring for consideration: guard Jordan Clarkson.
“He’s been the best bench player in the NBA this year. They’ve got the best record in the NBA,” Barkley said of Clarkson on Thursday. “He’s been fantastic this year. That’s why I got him on my list.”
Clarkson posted a season-high 40-point effort in the team’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. He’s averaging a career-best 18.2 points per game as the team’s valuable sixth man.
Now, about Mitchell
Mitchell was left out of the starting lineup, as he finished fourth in All-Star voting among Western Conference guards with the fourth-most fan and media votes and the fifth-most player votes.
He trailed starters Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic, as well as Damian Lillard. The other Western Conference starters include LeBron James, Nikola Jokic and Kawhi Leonard.
Barkley also advocated for Mitchell to be a starter during the TNT broadcast. Mitchell has averaged 24.2 points and 5.1 assists per game, while shooting 43% from the field heading into the team’s game Friday against the Clippers.
“No disrespect to anybody, but this kid has been the best player on the best team in the NBA, and it’s unfortunate he’s not starting,” Barkley said of Mitchell.