We have seen a lot of players come into their own after a few seasons. Every year there are a few young players that continuously hit the glass ceiling, but can’t quite smash through it this year. Many players look like they’re going to be very good for in the near future, but because there are other players on the team, or they’re in a small market, they go unnoticed during the All-Star selection. Many players are going to leave mark on the NBA soon. It will just be a matter of time. Here are the top five future First-Time All-Stars:
5. Devonte Graham
The G-League alumni took major strides this season. After the departure of Kemba Walker, the Hornets and their fans were bracing for a very long decade of basketball. That’s when this dude comes out of nowhere and plays out of his mind. Graham, 24, has made a case for Most Improved Player this season. Averaging 17.8 points, 7.8 assists, and 3.5 threes made per game, as opposed to his 4.7, 2.6, and 0.7 last season.
Graham has given the Hornets a new sense of hope for the future. He is one of the best three-point shooters in the league, averaging 37% on 9.3 attempts. To put into perspective how impressive that is, All-Star starter, Trae Young, shoots 37.4% on 9.5 attempts. Graham is an incredible shooter from deep and he is going to show everyone what he is capable of next year.
He also averages an impressive 7.8 assists per game. His playmaking is almost as impressive as his three-point shooting. His passes are absolutely incredible and is going to use that playmaking as part of his incredible all-around offensive game.
The one thing he needs to work on offensively is his inside scoring. That is his one offensive weakness as he only shoots 38.6% inside the arc. He will have an entire offseason to work on his inside game and if he can get that going, Graham is set to be an All-Star very soon.
4. Markelle Fultz
Remember him? Fultz was drafted first overall in the 2017 draft. After being proclaimed a bust in Philadelphia, the 76ers traded Markelle to the Orlando Magic. Fultz hasn’t had an All-Star caliber season in his career, but with his now solid play in Orlando, he can start to actually develop his game. Markelle is only 21 years old and still has ceilingless potential to unveil.
Fultz has been averaging 11.9 points, 5.0 assists, and is shooting 46.8% from the field. This honestly could be considered Fultz’s real rookie season as it is the first one playing at least 20 games. He has been an efficient scorer and is ready to show the NBA what he can do.
Fultz likely won’t be an All-Star next year, but down the road, Fultz is going to be a very good player. Markelle is finally scoring consistently. He clearly needed some time away from the spotlight to really improve his game.
Fultz needs to mainly work on his three-point shooting. He is shooting 26.5% on nearly two attempts. If he really wants to take his game to the next level, he really needs to get a real deep shot. If he can develop that, then he will become an incredible player, capable of becoming an All-Star starter.
3. Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown could be considered a snub in this year’s All-Star game. Brown is having the best season of his young career. He is averaging 20.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and is shooting 49.8% from the field. Brown is another player who could be entered into the Most Improved Player discussion.
It is his first season averaging more than 15 points and his first season with a good teammate to play Point Guard. By pure coincidence, when Kyrie Irving was replaced by Kemba Walker, both Brown and Tatum suddenly had breakout seasons. Brown’s perimeter defense and his three-point shot are both great assets to his game. Brown is going to be an All-Star in the very near future. Brown is only 23 years old with lots of room to grow.
Jaylen doesn’t have one thing he needs to work on. He simply just needs to improve his all-around game. In a few years, Brown could be a legit superstar in the future. He just needs the time to improve and he will be in All-Star in a year or two.
2. Zion Williamson
Zion may well be the player of the 2020s decade. We have only seen a small sample size of the 285 pound 19-year-old. In just the 11 games we have seen him play, he has been averaging a monster 22.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. He is showing that he really does have superstar potential after being injured for the majority of the season.
Williamson is only 19 and is scoring like a veteran. If he doesn’t get injured again, he may well become the next LeBron James. His talent is through the roof and he knows how to score. His height may be a point of concern as he is only 6’6 and is playing the Power Forward.
He is going to need to improve his ball-handling if he wants to be truly effective in the NBA. He is a short Power Forward so he is going to need to be able to get past his defenders. He is very strong, but other Forwards like Blake Griffin or Anthony Davis will demolish him if he is matched up against them. If he can improve his ball-handling, he will definitely become an All-Star and may become the player of the 2020s.
Zion is an incredible player, but his injuries are a major concern. He has been injured three times now and it could have implications as to what’s going to happen to him in the future. The Pelicans medical staff needs to treat Zion with extreme care if they want Zion to not turn out like Greg Oden, which is why he’s only #2 on this list.
1. Ja Morant
Who else to be on the top of the list other than the future Rookie of the Year. Morant is having an incredible rookie season, averaging 17.6 points, 6.9 assists, and is shooting 49.2% from the field. Morant’s play is mirroring that of prime Derrick Rose. Rose and Morant are both super athletic Point Guards that had monster dunks and blew everyone away with their speed.
Morant is going to be the Rookie of the Year. He has the skillset to make this his draft class instead of Zion’s. Zion and Morant may have a future rivalry for the best player in the class.
Morant is a great scorer that is unstoppable and is a great playmaker as well. He needs to work some on his three-point shot. It’s not bad, but at 35.5%, there is room for improvement. If he can really become a dangerous shooter, there will be no answers for the young man on defense.
Morant also has to improve his defense. Again, his defense isn’t bad, but for Morant, anything that isn’t solidly above-average means that he needs to improve on it. Morant is going to be a superstar and was a snubbed from the All-Star game this year.
These players all have All-Star potential. It will be very interesting to see their careers play out.