In case you missed the news yesterday, the Rising Stars Challenge participants were named. That's the All Star event that includes rookies and sophomores.
Kelly Olynyk has been chosen in a vote of league coaches to play for the World Team in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday of All-Star Weekend. The problem is that Olynyk may not be ready to play by Feb. 13 as he seeks to return from a bad right ankle sprain suffered a week ago in Portland.
When asked if Smart was snubbed, Stevens initially said, "yes. So ... that was my honest answer." Stevens added, "the honest answer is I feel bad anytime somebody feels like that, if they're close to an honor like that."
With Olynyk likely missing the game and Marcus Smart snubbed, there likely won't be any Celtics participation in the All Star weekend festivities. Smart was likely left off because Zach LaVine was going to be there for the dunk contest anyway so maybe they felt like he should be on the rising stars roster as well. Smart missed some time due to injuries this year so leaving him off the list isn't a complete farce, but I think all too often defense is neglected in things like this.
Another interesting Olynyk note: Steve Bulpett reports that he was one of the pieces that the Celtics were offering in the trade talks for Kevin Love this past summer.
The Celtics tried hard to get into the running for Love, hoping to pair him with Rajon Rondo and accelerate the club’s rebuilding project. But a predraft offer of the sixth and 17th picks, Kelly Olynyk and a future first never gained traction.
That's quite a package offered, but it ultimately wasn't enough and the Wolves ended up with the number one pick Andrew Wiggins. Right now it looks like the right call, but then again, it also looks like the Warriors made the right call in keeping Klay Thompson instead of dealing him for Kevin Love. So time will tell if any of these moves were good, bad, or neutral.
Just like time will tell if Marcus Smart is more of a "rising star" than Zach LaVine or any of the other guys invited.