The NBA released its third round of fan voting on Thursday, and the results haven’t changed much from the first batch. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are leading the way for their respective conferences, with Kevin Durant close behind Antetokounmpo in the East.
The West’s projected starting lineup (three in the frontcourt and two backcourt players), listed in the order of fan votes received, would be James, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis. The East’s would be Antetokounmpo, Durant, Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell.
Fan voting counts for 50% of the overall vote toward the starters, while current players and the media account for 25% apiece. The starters will be announced next Thursday on TNT.
Davis and Durant are currently injured, so they might not compete in the showcase event, though both players could return before February 19, when the game takes place. A couple other star players — Zion Williamson and Devin Booker — are currently injured as well, and it’s hard to say if they’ll be selected due to the amount of time they’ve missed, even if they would clearly be deserving if healthy (Williamson could be a starter; he trails Davis by around 78,000 votes).
Let’s assume the starters remain unchanged. The league’s coaches select the reserves, with seven players chosen from each conference.
Joel Embiid is a lock in the East, and I view Pascal Siakam and Jaylen Brown as locks as well. That leaves four spots from a crowded list of contenders that includes Tyrese Haliburton (also injured, but perhaps short term), Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, James Harden, Trae Young, Darius Garland, Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma, Jrue Holiday, Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Nic Claxton, and Brook Lopez, among others.
Out West, let’s assume Williamson makes it. Ja Morant and Domantas Sabonis should be locks, in my opinion. That would leave four remaining spots from a field that includes Booker, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lauri Markkanen, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, De’Aaron Fox, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Jerami Grant, CJ McCollum, Aaron Gordon and Anthony Edwards, among others.
Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports breaks down some of the potential first-time All-Stars into four tiers: Near locks, legit cases, the best-team effect, and long shots. Gilgeous-Alexander, Markkanen and Haliburton are near locks, according to Devine — I would go a step further and say all three should absolutely make the team. That would only leave two spots in the West and three in the East.
As for Devine’s legit cases, that’s where Fox, Brunson and McCollum land. Jackson, Bane, Gordon and Claxton fall into the “best-team effect” category, while Edwards, Grant, Wagner and Banchero are long shots, per Devine.
One of Adebayo or Butler will make it for the Heat, perhaps even both — they’re great two-way players. Butler has missed several games. Adebayo would be my pick. I think DeRozan is deserving. That leaves one spot, and for me it’s down to Brunson or Randle. I’ll take Brunson.
The last two spots in the West are really hard. Booker was awesome when healthy (the Suns are 18-10 in his full games and 3-14 with him hurt). Fox has been a monster in the clutch and the Kings have exceeded expectations. Lillard is playing as well as he ever has, but the Blazers are below .500. Jackson is arguably the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year and the Grizzlies are 31-13. Gordon has been the second-best player on the West’s current No. 1 seed.
Fox has played 11 more games than Booker and eight more than Lillard. I’ll give him the nod. Jackson is my final pick — he has been a force on both ends since he returned from offseason foot surgery.
We want to know what you think. What would your All-Star picks be? Head to the comments and let us know what you think.
12 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: All-Star Teams”
I’d give the remaining spots (I agree with the locks and near locks) to Adebayo, Brunson and Garland in the East (no DDR), Lillard and I’m-paid-like-an-All-Star McCollum in the West.
East- Kyrie, Spida, Tatum, Durant (Embiid inj rep), Giannis
Haliburton (inj rep Harden), Jaylen, Siakam, Bam, Brunson, DeRozan, Garland
West- Luka, Steph, LeBron, Zion (inj rep Sabonis) , Jokic
SGA, Ja, Booker (inj rep Lillard), AD (inj rep Jaren Jackson Jr), Fox, Lauri, McCollum
Lakers players are successful in voting
LeBron 1 (top vote)
Team Lakers is complete failure. Excluding 2 tanking teams, Team Lakers is the worst team.
Wins do not account for something in vote. It’s about stats.
It’s unfair. If Lakers get 4 of the top votes. Rockets and Spurs should get 3 each. That is 10.
Luckily, the fan vote is only half of the equation.
David should not be on the All Star team same for Zion.
It’s the All Star game not All NBA. It should be whomever the fans want to see
Barring injury SGA is a lock. Dude is on his way to making an All NBA Team.
The ASG is a joke of a game to see who can score 200 points first.
I’d rather watch a 3-on-3 tournament of stars.
Hey heads up, you listed Trae Young’s name twice by accident
East starters should be…
Haliburton, Harden, KD, Giannis & Embiid
JT, Siakam, Butler, Randle, DeRozan, Bam & Mitchell
West starters should be…
Luka, SGA, AD, Sabonis & Jokic
LBJ, Curry, Zion, Dame, Markkanen, Ja & KAT
Gordon absolutely should make it. The Nuggets have the best record in the west and since the purpose of playing basketball games is to win, they deserve to have two allstar representatives. Unlike guys like Davis (missed 20 games) and Williamson (missed 16 games and is now out for several weeks), he’s been durable and making a big contribution to winning all season.
I would not have AD or Kyrie starting in my ballot, although they would make my top 15 for each conference’s All-Stars (which I understand is not how it works, but I’m including injury replacement possibilities).
Zion should be a starting lock. The last East guard spot is weird, and the fact that Ja and Joel may both have to come off the bench is the reason why awards team positions are stupid. I would ultimately lean towards Haliburton starting, and he could have really sewn this up if he hadn’t gotten injured.
I agree with Ja, Sabonis, SGA, Lauri, and Fox all ultimately being reserves in the initial All-Star top 12. I would have Booker, Dame, and PG all in, in addition to AD, because Booker, Zion, and AD could all possibly miss. I would not have Jaren even as an injury replacement. The Grizzlies duo of Bane and Jaren should be a shoe-in for future All-Star games with how they’ve played this year, but both have an issue with games played so far. I’m dubious about even putting AD in with his lack of games played, but the fact is that AD is a significantly better player than many other options. I would have C.J. as my next injury replacement guy in the West.
I also agree with Embiid, Siakam, JB, Bam, and DeMar being fixtures in the East All-Star reserves. Brunson has had a fantastic first season but the East guard race is so competitive. Harden has kicked his efficiency back up after falling off a bit last year, despite still not getting to the line as often in Houston, and is embracing his role as a playmaker for Joel and the Sixers. Trae is not shooting well from anywhere this year but is still putting up gaudy numbers. Kyrie is a deplorable human being and has been pretty cold lately in the absence of Durant, but does put up All-Star numbers the majority of the time. From Brunson’s own team, I would have Randle return to the All-Star game with the impressive shooting year that he’s having, despite his fit issues emerging from time to time. Jimmy, Brunson, and Garland all narrowly miss out, but headline my injury replacement candidates.