Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet will not be heading to Atlanta for the NBA All-Star Game next month. The 26-year-old was left on the outside looking in, coming just short of the votes necessary to beat out James Harden, Julius Randle, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons, and Nikola Vucevic who were named Eastern Conference All-Stars.
VanVleet had been hoping this would the year he'd make his first All-Star appearance. He's been averaging a career-high 20.1 points on 40.8% shooting to go with 6.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game.
"Of course I feel like I’m an All-Star. I’m a confident guy. I don’t work this hard to not feel that way," VanVleet said on Sunday. "I would love to be an All-Star. I would love to have the respect of the coaches in the league."
It will be the first time in seven years the Raptors will not be sending a player to the All-Star game. VanVleet had been Toronto's best bet to make the game. Not only were his box score stats impressive, but he grades as one of the Eastern Conference's best players in almost all the advanced metrics.
BBall-Index's LEBRON statistic has VanVleet as the seventh-best guard in the NBA and the second-best in the East behind only James Harden. Over at FiveThirtyEight, VanVleet is ranked the third-best player in the league by their RAPTOR statistic behind Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
Instead of heading to Atlanta, VanVleet said he will be heading to a beach somewhere for the All-Star break.