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?]