On Tuesday afternoon, the NBA announced they'd be changing the format of the Rising Stars game that will be taking place on Friday, Feb. 18 as part of All-Star Weekend. The game started off as a Rookie Challenge in 1994 and has gone through several format changes over the years.
Since 2015, the game has consisted of rookies and sophomores in a Team USA vs Team World format, but that all will change in Cleveland this year. The 2022 version will feature a three-game mini-tournament consisting of four seven-player teams.
The pool of 28 players available will consist of 12 NBA rookies, 12 NBA sophomores, and four top players from the NBA G League Ignite. Full details about the new format are listed below.
Last season, Keldon Johnson was named to the Team USA roster but the game wasn't held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Will Any San Antonio Spurs Participate in the Rising Stars Game?
In looking at the roster, there are technically five Spurs who meet the criteria of being an NBA rookie or sophomore for these teams: Devin Vassell, Tre Jones, Jock Landale, Joe Wieskamp, and Joshua Primo.
Of these, the most likely option for a selection is Vassell, who is averaging 11.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in his second NBA season. Devin would be a solid choice to join the sophomore squad and should have a shot at being selected by NBA assistant coaches.
Tre Jones is the other sophomore in San Antonio but likely hasn't played enough to be noticed for this particular game. The same applies to rookies Jock Landale and Joe Wieskamp. Josh Primo has an outside shot but it's definitely a long one, as there are several rookies playing prominent roles for their teams while Primo has only played sparingly in the NBA.
Keep your eyes on Air Alamo for updates on whether one or more Spurs will be participating in the All-Star festivities in Cleveland next month.