5 Players who could become All Stars for the first time next season
Mike Conley – Point Guard – Utah Jazz
It’s incredibly surprising that Mike Conley has never been an All-Star before. He’s been one of the most efficient and versatile point guards in the NBA for years now, and with the level he’s been playing at, you’d expect him to be a multi time All-Star by now. Maybe it’s because he’s not the flashiest player, or maybe it’s because of how talented the western conference is, it’s hard to say. Regardless, it’s very likely that Mike Conley’s All-Star drought could come to a close this upcoming season.
Last season the guards to make the Western Conference All Star team were Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, and Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson will be out with a torn ACL until at least January, and it’s looking like Russell Westbrook won’t be a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder next season, so there could be two All Star positions open for guards. Players like Jrue Holiday, DeMar DeRozan, Luka Doncic, D’Angelo Russel, and many more talented guards will be competing for those two All-Star slots, but with how successful Utah will likely be next season, it would be hard not to include him in the All-Star game.
Rudy Gobert – Center – Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert just won his 2nd straight Defensive Player of the Year, and made his 3rd straight All Defensive First Team. He averaged 15.9 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks, and was the defensive backbone of a 50 win team. He is one of the best centers in the league, and he definitely deserves to be an All Star, but with players like Karl Anthony-Towns, Nikola Jokic, and Anthony Davis in the Western Conference , he gets undermined. He is one of those players like Mike Conley, who deserve to be an All Star, but the circumstances aren’t necessarily in their favor.
Devin Booker – Shooting Guard – Phoenix Suns
With two new All Star slots ripe for the taking, it’s unlikely that Devin Booker will get snubbed again. Last season he averaged 26.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. He’s also a fairly efficient shooter, shooting 47% from the field, 33% from three (which was a career low), and 87% from the line. Some people believe that he has empty stats due to how bad Phoenix has been, but with how much improvement he shows each season, it’s hard to deny that it’s just a matter of time before Devin Booker is an All Star.
Pascal Siakam – Power Forward – Toronto Raptors
With Kawhi Leonard leaving the Toronto Raptors, Pascal Siakam is their best player. Kyle Lowry has been inconsistent at times, and Marc Gasol isn’t the player he once was. He showed a ton of promise these last couple of years, and was one of the most valuable players during the Toronto Raptors championship campaign.
Last season he won the Most Improved Player award, averaging 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. He also had 0.9 steals, and 0.7 blocks, showing that he’s a versatile defender with high potential. He showed life as a 3 point shooter as well, shooting 37% from three. He can shoot, dribble, defend, and now that Kawhi’s gone, he’ll have more than enough opportunity to become an All Star.
Caris LeVert – Shooting Guard – Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert was on pace to become an All Star last season, until a gruesome leg injury in December ruined that dream. He was averaging 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in his pre-injury games. He showed a very versatile offensive game, with him being able to set up his teammates, as well as being able to create offense for himself. He was Brooklyn’s best player up until his injury, and with Kyrie Irving coming to Brooklyn next season, he’ll have more breathing room, which will result in higher efficiency as well as better shots for himself. He’ll have all offseason to improve, and if he and Kyrie Irving can get on the same page early, they could be one of the best backcourts in the entire NBA. Caris LeVert could become the third star for Brooklyn, and if his early season stats last season are of any indication, he could become an All Star very soon.