The NBA season is in full swing, with the league’s superstars performing at the highest levels. What’s more, with more people than ever taking advantage of the growing interest in sports betting stateside, several top sportsbooks now offer betting promotions to new customers, further allowing fans to back their favorites and take part in the action from afar.
Undoubtedly, many fans are watching closely as the top players continue to outdo themselves. Nikola Jokic continues to prove he deserved to win the MVP, and Luka Doncic has made history as the first player to score 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists in a single game. That’s not all; Lebron James continues to show why he should be considered the game’s GOAT.
While the All-Star weekend is still over a month away, fans have already started casting their vote, with many wondering who will suit up as an All-Star for the first time this year. Keep reading to learn which players have the best shot at being first-time All-Stars in 2023.
Anthony Edwards—Minnesota Timberwolves
Edwards is exactly what comes to mind when most NBA fans think of an NBA All-Star. The young player has it all, charisma and a big personality. Plus, he’s put up outstanding numbers this season, making it hard to imagine him not making the cut.
He was the top NBA draft pick in 2020 and has spent his tenure in the league proving his worth, averaging over 20 points per game in his first two seasons. Last year, he became the youngest player in the history of the NBA to make ten 3-pointers in a single game. Although he may not have the highest vertical leap in NBA history, he’s had more poster dunks than we can count.
With Karl-Anthony Edwards sidelined, Edwards has led his team and really shined in the role, averaging 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He’s done all this while shooting 46.4% from the field and 36.8 from beyond the arc. Given these stats, there’s a good chance Edwards may get a spot on this year’s All-Star team.
Jaylen Brown—Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have had an impressive season, holding the best record in the NBA. The team is on a mission to win it all this year, making up for their heartbreaking loss to the Golden State Warriors during last year’s finals.
A crucial part of the team’s success this season has been the performance of Jaylen Brown. While most people think of Jayson Tatum when they think of the Celtics, the team has thrived because Tatum has such a talented supporting cast.
Brown has taken his play to a new level this season, demonstrating his athleticism and offensive prowess. There’s little doubt Brown will be an All-Star this season, and he’s definitely earned it.
Jalen Brunson—New York Knicks
Brunson has always been a talented player and played a critical role in the Dallas Mavericks’ defeat of the Phoenix Suns in Game 7 of last year’s Western Conference semifinals. However, playing alongside a dominant Luka Doncic in Dallas, he could never fully shine.
He’s now the lead point guard for the New York Knicks and has proven he has what it takes to play All-Star caliber basketball, averaging 20.2 points and 6.6 assists per game. He’s played impressive ball in the clutch and has had five games with 30 or more points.
A Knicks point guard hasn’t made it to the All-Star game since Mark Jackson in 1989, and Brunson is hoping to be the first in over thirty years.
Tyrese Haliburton—Indiana Pacers
As one of the NBA’s best playmakers this season, 22-year-old Haliburton is a favorite to make this year’s All-Star team. The point guard leads the league in assists, with a total of 357, averaging over 10 per game.
During a three-game stretch last year, he made history by completing 40 assists without a single turnover. So far this season, he’s averaged 20.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 10 assists per game on 48.5% shooting from the field.
He has become the cornerstone player in the Pacers franchise and has given his team the direction and leadership they need.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander—Oklahoma City Thunder
The only thing standing between Gilgeous-Alexander and a spot on this year’s All-Star roster is the Thunder’s poor record. However, looking at his performance, it’s clear he’s All-Star material.
He’s had an incredible season, averaging a career-high 30.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game on nearly 50% shooting from the field. He’s second in the NBA with points in the clutch, knocking down several shots for the Thunder, and has had 19 30-point games this season.
If he were playing on a team with a better record, he’d be a shoo-in for a spot on this year’s All-Star roster. Even with his team’s poor performance, he has a good chance of making the team.
De’Aaron Fox — Sacramento Kings
Fox has had an impressive year, averaging 23.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game on 49.9% shooting from the field and 34.4 from behind the three-point line. His performance has energized his team, with the Kings looking like playoff contenders this year.
There’s no question he’s playing All-Star level basketball and putting up the best numbers of his career. He’s also one of the fastest guards in the league, making it a real challenge to guard him. It looks like he may help the Kings end the longest active playoff drought in US professional sports.
Lauri Markkanen—Utah Jazz
A former top-10 draft pick, Markkanen is finally having the breakout season everyone was waiting for and expected. He’s playing up to his potential, averaging 23.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game, shooting a stunning 53.1% from the field.
Many predicted the Jazz would have a bad season this year, with some analysts predicting they’d only win 23.5 games during this season. However, their 19 wins and 20 losses, while far from being the best in the league, are much better than expected. A lot of that has to do with Markkanen’s impressive performance.