With the first round of All-Star fan votes coming out, the season is that much closer to the NBA All-Star Game. The first round of voting brought some different names that we are not accustomed to so near the top of the list. Multiple players have the ability to earn their first All-Star selection. But who is most likely?
Players With the Chance to Make Their First NBA All-Star Game
Devin Booker (24.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.3 APG)
Booker has increased his averages this season in nearly every category. Averaging over 2 more points, a higher field goal and three-point percentage, and free throw percentage this season, Booker is developing into quite the NBA star. But at 21 years, is Booker still too young? The Western Conference is jam-packed with talented guards and multiple time All-Star selections. There is no question Booker has a bright future ahead of him. But even with his improvement, it does not appear it is in the cards for him to make the All-Star game.
Joel Embiid (23.8 PPG, 10.9 RPg, 3.4 APG)
Embiid is one of the most intriguing young big men in the league. His combination of size, skill and confidence is everything you want in a big man. The only thing holding Embiid back is how injury prone he has shown to be. Bringing in the third most front-court votes, Embiid has a good chance of making it to the All-Star game. But will his injuries hold him back from earning the nod? For all NBA fans everywhere, it is best if Embiid can stay healthy and continue to develop.
Victor Oladipo (24.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.1 APG)
Oladipo has taken Indiana by storm and is quickly becoming the main candidate for the most improved player in the league. Getting traded for the second time has proven to be exactly what Oladipo needed to unlock his potential. With a somewhat weak pool of guards, at least compared to the west, Oladipo is right in the mix to represent the east in the All-Star game. It also helps that Oladipo has a usage rate higher than Stephen Curry. At just 25 years of age, Oladipo is sure to make many All-Star appearances if he can keep this up.
Kristaps Porzingis (23.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.2 APG)
Porzingis is a European superstar that is elite offensively. But when you look at his averages, you come to see he is not as elite in other aspects of the game. Porzingis is averaging the 40th most rebounds in the league. At power forward, that is a not all that impressive. And with only 1.2 assists per game, Porzingis is not getting his team involved. Can Porzingis’ unique offensive talent make up for the weaknesses in his game? Porzingis did receive the 4th most front-court fan votes in the first release of votes, so he has a chance.
Fans want to see new faces and new talent in the All-Star. It keeps it fun and interesting. With some many great young players, this year could be the start of a new age of basketball. I guess you could say, “Out with the old, and in with the new”.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 25: Philadelphia 76ers center #21 Joel Embiid attends the 2017 Mylan World TeamTennis New York Empire vs Philadelphia Freedoms match at Michael J. Hagan Arena at St. Joseph’s University on July 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)