The core of the young, improving Timberwolves — Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine — were among 20 rookies and second-year players chosen for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge that will be played Feb. 12 in Toronto as part of All-Star Weekend, the NBA announced.
The rosters released Wednesday in a continuation of the format of the U.S. against the World were selected in a league-wide balloting of assistant coaches. Votes had to include a minimum of four guards, four front-court players and two at either position per side. The teams must also have at least three first-year players and three sophomores.
The Timberwolves will have the strongest representation, led by Toronto native Wiggins, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Towns, the leading candidate at midseason for the 2015-16 award. One of Wiggins’ World teammates, Dwight Powell of the Mavericks, is also from Toronto.
The U.S. roster consists of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel (76ers), Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell (Lakers), Rodney Hood (Jazz), Jabari Parker (Bucks), Elfrid Payton (Magic), Marcus Smart (Celtics), Towns and LaVine.
The World roster is Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks), Bojan Bogdanovic (Nets), Clint Capela (Rockets), Mario Hezonja (Magic), Nikola Jokic and Emmanuel Mudiay (Nuggets), Nikola Mirotic (Bulls), Raul Neto (Jazz), Wiggins and Powell.
The World won the 2015 game, the first under the current format, 121-112 in Brooklyn. N.Y., as Wiggins scored 22 points en route to being named MVP.