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Fred VanVleet named to first All-Star team

VanVleet will serve as a reserve in the 71st NBA All-Star game in Cleveland.

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Fred VanVleet is officially an NBA All-Star.

The NBA revealed the 2022 All-Star reserves tonight, and Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet — whose play this season has undoubtedly been All-Star calibre — was announced as a member of the Eastern Conference squad.

It’s the first All-Star selection for VanVleet, who’s averaging 21.5 points, 7.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds — all career-highs — on 42/39/87 shooting splits.

This also marks the return of the Raptors to the All-Star game, as last year was the first time no Raptor made the team since 2014.

Joining Fred amongst the Eastern Conference reserves are Jimmy Butler, Darius Garland, James Harden, Zach LaVine, Khris Middleton, and Jayson Tatum.

They join starters Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Trae Young and DeMar DeRozan — who makes his return to the game after four appearances as a Raptor between 2014 and 2018.

On the Western Conference sides, reserves named today were Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Draymond Green, Chris Paul and Karl-Anthony Towns.

They’ll join starters LeBron James, Ja Morant, Andrew Wiggins, Steph Curry and Nikola Jokic.

The game takes place on Sunday, February 22 in Cleveland. The All-Star draft is back this year; on February 10, James and Durant will select 11 players each from the All-Star pool to make up their teams.

While Pascal Siakam was not selected by the coaches, there’s still a solid chance he makes the team as an injury replacement. We may be biased, but Siakam, who’s averaging 21 points, 5.1 assists, and 8.5 rebounds — the latter two career-highs — on 47/34/73 splits, seems like a perfect replacement at the forward spot for Durant, who’s currently injured. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is responsible for naming any injury replacements.

If and when that news comes, we’ll be sure to share it, but for now — congrats to Freddy, whose amazing journey from undrafted free agent to NBA champion to starting guard to All-Star continues to amaze.