The 2023 Rising Stars Challenge will maintain the four-team mini-tournament structure that began last year. The event will feature three teams drafted by former NBA players and a fourth squad comprised of G-League Ignite players. The tournament will consist of two games played to the target score of 40 points and then a final game played to 25 points.
On Tuesday afternoon, former All-Stars Pau Gasol, Deron Williams, and Joakim Noah did a live draft of the 21 rookie and sophomore players that will play in the event.
Rising Stars draft results:
Banchero, Mathurin, Ivey, Barnes, Alvarado, Murray, Nembhard.
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Wagner, Green, Sengun, Murphy, Griffin, Hyland, Kessler.
Mobley, Giddey, Williams, Sochan, Grimes, Smith, Duren.
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) February 7, 2023
Looking at the rosters, Noah appeared to draft based on whether or not a player has that dog in them. His team features all the best best defenders from this crop of players. There’s little shooting, but they will make sure a game to 40 points takes as long as humanly possible. Gasol, on the other hand, went the pure hooper route. Outside of Barnes and Alvarado, every player on his roster could be categorized as a bucket, different, or a problem. If they keep advanced stats for a rising stars game, their three-point rate should be through the roof. Lastly, Williams’ team doesn’t seem to have one common thread, which could be due to the fact that Williams said he hasn’t watched a lot of these players.
Deron Williams selected Sengun and Jalen Green in the Rising Stars draft
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He also admitted he does not have league pass and has not watched many of these players
— Andrew Schlecht (@AndrewKSchlecht) February 7, 2023
Nevertheless, this group of rookies and sophomores will put on a show, while the G League team (which is led by Jason Terry) will give fans a chance to watch projected top-5 pick Scoot Henderson. The event will take place on Saturday, February 18.