Alex Len will get some extra rest over the upcoming All-Star break.
The Suns 21 year old starting center didn't get the nod for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge World team, which is voted on by the NBA's assistant coaches.
Alex suffered through an injury plagued rookie season, but has been healthy as a sophomore and is really blossoming as the season progresses. In his 22 games as a starter he is averaging 7.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks a game. His presence in the paint on the defensive end has been a key element in the team's 15-7 record since he took over starting duties from Miles Plumlee.
Still, it's hard to argue that this is a snub. Each team, U.S. vs World, consists of four frontcourt, four backcourt and two wildcard players. It's not difficult to make a case that Gorgui Dieng, Rudy Gobert, Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk and Nikola Mirotic are playing at least as well as Len this season.
Len's recent performance hasn't buoyed his statistics to the point where he compares favorably with his peers. He is averaging less points than any of these players and is not leading in any category. The 21 year old Len is the second youngest of this group (Steven Adams) so hopefully he can concede this small victory and win the much bigger battle of becoming the best player over the course of his career.
The Suns have also been shut out of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, so their last chance will be a nod in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe (and maybe Isaiah Thomas?) might be considered for that competition.
I guess the Suns' last chance for representation is riding on a chalupa.