Cavaliers to send four to All-Star “Rising Stars” challenge

The 13-33 Cleveland Cavaliers will have plenty of representation on All-Star weekend as four members of the Wine and Gold will be part of the 2013 Rising Stars challenge.

Reigning Rising Stars MVP Kyrie Irving will be joined by Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller as the league’s best freshmen and sophomores square off.

Irving, already selected by the Eastern Conference head coaches to participate in the league’s All-Star game, is one of only two players in the East to average over 20 points and five assists (LeBron James). Irving was a perfect 8-for-8 from beyond the arc and finished with 34 points, helping Team Chuck beat Team Shaq 146-133 in the Rising Stars Challenge in 2012. Fellow second-year player Tristan Thompson is averaging 11.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game — his mark of 3.9 offensive rebounds per game is good enough for third in the NBA.

Among the rookies, Waiters is second in scoring (14.5) and steals (1.0). Zeller is third in rebounds (6.2) and blocks (1.0). Zeller is the only non-lottery draftee to be invited to the challenge.

The 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will feature two teams drafted by TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal — both men serving as opposing general managers. Each team will have nine-man rosters cosisting of players from the selected pool. Starting lineups will have fan input as online voting will be held. The game will take place on February 15 at 9pm EST.

[Related: Does Kyrie Irving have a second act up his sleeve?]

  • Tim K.

    I know they haven’t been doing this Rising Stars challenge for that long, but this has to be the record for most guys from one team, right?

  • Kildawg

    Hopefully all four Cavs are on the same team (and start). Kyrie is definitely first one to be picked (same as last year), and this shows that our Cavs have a promising future if we keep these guys together. Especially if we can get a good SF (hear Indy is shipping Granger when he’s healthy), that would be a decent playoff team. James returning makes us a Finals front-runner (maybe this is really why first-rounders are being accumulated).

  • Matt S

    I want to say the Cavs did this before in the 90s, with Anderson/Henderson/Knight and Z. Might be wrong on that.

  • typo

    They did. And they were all rookies. Not first and second year,

  • prime

    blake went 1st, kyrie 2nd.

  • prime

    either kyrie will go off and shoot for both mvps,, or he will go easy and save his bag of tricks strictly for the asg.

  • Yup

    Good for the Cavs not named Kyrie esp. Btw, I would note that MKG has scored a grand total of 4 points in the lady two games. He seems to be regressing…

  • Jaker

    I thought Rubio was picked before him. That was when he was getting all the hype and Kyrie was getting no love, no?

  • prime

    naw shaq picked 1st, charles 2nd.. you know how shaq is all about big men and blake was full of hype. chuck picked 2nd and went with kyrie. it was kind of a no brainer. yea rubio was getting all the hype through the media, but basketball heads knew who the real talent was.