The no-All-Star superteam? Utah's unique challenge in loaded West

SALT LAKE CITY — Constellations of All-Star talent light up the rosters of a Western Conference that is as wide open as it has been for at least half a decade.

Just look at all the All-Stars on the teams that could contend in the West.

Kawhi Leonard convinced Paul George to join him on the LA Clippers, and that pair of perennial All-Stars might not even be the best duo in their own city. Anthony Davis followed LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers, giving L.A.’s more glamorous team potentially its most potent one-two punch since the Shaq/Kobe heyday. Russell Westbrook, like George and Davis, successfully pushed for a trade to his preferred destination. As a result, Westbrook joined James Harden on the Houston Rockets, a reunion of former Thunder teammates that had previously only happened in All-Star Games.

Give up on the Golden State Warriors if you wish, but they’ve got as much star power as anyone with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell and perhaps at a later point Klay Thompson. The Portland Trail Blazers (Damian Lillard) and Denver Nuggets (Nikola Jokic) each feature a lone current All-Star, plus a veteran teammate with multiple past appearances (Pau Gasol in Portland, Paul Millsap in Denver).

And then there are the Utah Jazz.

The talented Jazz roster is considered one of the West’s best even though it doesn’t include a single player who has been selected as an All-Star, which is a sensitive subject in Salt Lake City.

“I’ve been screwed. It’s ridiculous,” Utah forward Joe Ingles deadpanned. “Who votes for this s—?”

Even center Rudy Gobert, the back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All-NBA selection — a system that, unlike All-Star voting, still differentiates between forward and center positions — has zero trips to the league’s midseason showcase.

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