The Detroit Pistons will be well-represented during All-Star Weekend.
Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart were named to the Rising Stars player pool during TNT’s announcement broadcast on Tuesday.
It’s a testament to Detroit’s rebuild — and to a new format featuring more players — that the Pistons have three players in this year’s game after having zero make a roster last year.
Cunningham has been one of the NBA’s best rookies this season, averaging 16.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Bey and Stewart have started every game they’ve played this season. Bey is averaging 15.6 points and 5.7 rebounds, while Stewart is averaging 7.9 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Killian Hayes, the seventh overall pick in 2020, was not selected. Former Michigan basketball star Franz Wagner, second among rookies with 15.7 points per game, is participating as well.
The updated format divides players among four seven-man teams, which will compete in a three-game mini-tournament. Twelve rookies, 12 sophomores and four G League Ignite players were selected. The tournament will be played to a target score, meaning each game will be won with a shot or free throw instead of the clock running out. The first two games will be played to 50 points, and the final game will be played to 25 points.
It’s a significant change from the previous format, which pitted the NBA’s best American-born first and second-year players against the NBA’s best international young talent.
This year’s Rising Stars challenge will be played at 9 p.m. Feb. 18.
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