Thursday, the NBA released their third and final All-Star fan vote returns ahead of voting ending on January 20th. If voting were to end today, the starters would be:
- LeBron James (LAL)
- Nikola Jokic (DEN)
- Kevin Durant (PHX)
- Luca Doncic (DAL)
- Stephen Curry (GSW)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
- Joel Embiid (PHI)
- Jayson Tatum (BOS)
- Tyrese Haliburton (IND)
- Trae Young (ATL)
Compared to the last returns on January 11th, nothing has changed in terms of who would start. The starters will be officially announced on January 25th. While it’s likely the starters will be those who would be if the voting ended today, there are a couple of spots that could change before the starters are officially announced.
In the Western Conference frontcourt, the starters will remain the same. In the backcourt, there is a possibility that Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could land the second starting guard spot. While Stephen Curry has 2.61 million votes, SGA is right behind him with 2.33 million votes. While the Eastern Conference frontcourt will not change, there is a race for the second backcourt spot. Trae Young would currently be the second starter in the backcourt, but Bucks guard Damian Lillard is right behind him. Young sits at 1.81 million votes while Lillard is right behind him with 1.73 million votes. With Lillard around 80,000 votes behind Young, this is the starter spot most likely to change by the time the starters are announced.
While the reserves will be selected by NBA head coaches and will not be announced until February 1st, there are several players in contention for this first All-Star nod.
Alperen Sengun has taken a significant leap in the 2023-24 season. He is currently averaging 21.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 4.9 APG in the first half of the season, being one of the biggest bright sports for the struggling Houston Rockets.
Chet Holmgren is the first of two rookies with a real chance of receiving their first All-Star nod. Chet has been a significant piece of the Thunder’s jump towards the top of the Western Conference. In the 40 games he has played so far, Holmgren is averaging 17.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 2.8 APG. Without Holmgren, there is no telling if the Thunder would be in the position they are in right now.
The second rookie with a real chance of receiving their first All-Star nod, Victor Wembanyama has been one of the most-watched players this season. In the 35 games he played this season, Wemby has averaged 19.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG, and 2.9 APG, putting up even better numbers in the last 10 games he’s played. Being seen as one of the most highly touted rookies since LeBron James, Wembanyama will more than likely receive his first All-Star nod.
Even though the Orlando Magic have taken a step back after a tremendous start to their season, Paolo Banchero has been the biggest part of their success. In the 41 games he’s played this season, Banchero has averaged 22.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 4.9 APG. With the Eastern Conference frontcourt stacked in terms of competition for All-Star spots, Banchero may or may not land an All-Star nod. If the head coaches reward the early season efforts of the Orlando Magic, Banchero should become an All-Star for the first time.
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