For the third consecutive season, John Wall will be an All-Star, the league announced Thursday as he joins seven reserves voted on by coaches.
Wall, who is averaging a career-high 19.6 points, 9.8 assists (third in NBA) and 2.1 steals, finished fifth overall in popular voting from fans. Among point guards, he was behind Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers).
Even though the Wizards enter Thursday's game vs. the Denver Nuggets at 20-23, Wall has been the best player on an injury-depleted team. He was named player of the week in the East earlier in January and was named player of the month for December in the conference. He had 24 points-assists double-doubles going into Thursday, by far leading the East.
The All-Star Game will be played in Toronto on Feb. 14. Wall started last year and Lowry and Irving were his backups. Lowry is the starter this time.
In Wall's first appearance came in 2013-14 when he was Irving's backup.
The rest of the East reserves: Paul Millsap, Andre Drummond, DeMar DeRozan, Chris Bosh, Jimmy Butler and Isaiah Thomas.
Pau Gasol, who also was a strong candidate with Chicago, was beaten out for the spot by Bosh. Irving had the start of his season delayed by injury and didn't make the cut.
For the West, the reserves: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, James Harden, Chris Paul and Klay Thompson.
*Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill. There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true.
*He is more known for his defense at this point. Little is an aggressive and physical perimeter defender who could develop into a Marcus Smart-like pest. Though he didn't force a ton of turnovers in college, Little clearly gave opposing teams problems with his energy and length.
*There are questions about whether Little will ever be more than a dunker on the offensive end. He is excellent in transition and cutting to the rim, but he didn't do much creating off the dribble in college and needs to work on his outside shooting. He shot just 26.9 percent from three at UNC.
*Little had a strong combine with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers helped his reputation as one of the most athletic wings in this year's class.
*Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military. He had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC.
Fit with Wizards: Little fits with the Wizards given he is a small forward and they currently have an opening there. He would also give them something they need in terms of style as a physical wing defender. Little is the type of player who could help them improve their horrid three-point defense.
But Little's raw skillset suggests he may take some time to develop offensively and it brings into question how high his ceiling will ultimately prove to be. The Wizards may be able to find someone with the ninth pick who can both contribute sooner than Little and offer a clearer road to potential stardom.
That said, if Little's game is indeed more designed for the NBA than in college, he could impress in pre-draft workouts and end up rising up the board.
*Bol has a chance to be perfectly suited for this era of NBA unicorns. He is over 7-feet tall, yet is highly skilled for his size. He can run the floor, make plays off the dribble and shoot from outside. He is also an adept shot-blocker with the instincts to maximize his height and length.
*Bol is the son of former Bullets player Manute Bol. His father was drafted by Washington in 1985 and played three seasons with the team to start his career. He later returned to play for the Bullets in 1993 for another year. The elder Bol was 7-foot-7 and is among the tallest players in NBA history. He famously was teammates with Muggsy Bogues, who stood just 5-foot-3.
*He only played in nine games with Oregon due to a stress fracture in his left foot. A stress fracture is always ominous for a basketball player, but especially for a big man. If it weren't for the injury, Bol would probably be in the top-five range. Whichever team takes him will be going high-risk, high-reward, not unlike the Nuggets with Michael Porter Jr. last June.
*Bol unsurprisingly turned heads at the NBA Combine. He measured in about 7-foot-3 and with a 7-7 wingspan. If it weren't for Tacko Fall, those each would have led this year's class. Bol also has a 9-foot-7 1/2-ing standing reach. That means he can nearly touch the rim without jumping.
*Perhaps the most interesting stat when it comes to Bol is his three-point shooting. Though it was a small sample size, he shot 52 percent from long range and on nearly three atempts per game. For a guy his size, having any sort of three-point shot is noteworthy and to shoot at that clip is exceptional, no matter the position.
Fit with Wizards: Bol would be a great fit for the Wizards in some regards in that he plays a position of need and would offer star potential. He also would add rim protection, which the Wizards sorely lack. And it would be a nice story, Bol beginning his career with the same franchise that his father did.
But Bol is the type of risk that the Wizards may not be in position to take. They ideally would get someone who does not have injury concerns, someone who could step right in and represent a legitimate building block for the future.
Maybe that changes if the Wizards' medical team gives him the clear. But Bol seems more likely to fit with the Wizards if they pull off a trade to adde more picks. If they moved back from ninth and got another first round selection, taking Bol wouldn't be nearly as risky.