New All-Stars sprout up around the league every season. Some players build on that and become perennial All-Stars while some benefit from jaw-dropping performances or team success. Last season, the NBA saw players like Karl-Anthony Towns, Goran Dragic and Victor Oladipo get their first nods.
Here are five players who might be first-time All-Stars this season:
- Aaron Gordon
- Jayson Tatum
- Rudy Gobert
- C.J. McCollum
- Devin Booker
- Steven Adams
- Clint Capela
- D’Angelo Russell
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Simmons was very close to making the team as an injury replacement as a rookie a year ago. He would have been the first rookie to make it since Blake Griffin, who also sat out his rookie season with an injury. Ironic, right?
With Simmons being one of the best players on a loaded Sixers team, expect him to make an All-Star roster. It does not hurt to be a walking triple-double as well.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Jokic is one of the best centers in the league and has a good shot at being named an All-Star this season on one of the more exciting teams in the West.
The only problem is that he plays in the West as Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Karl-Anthony Towns will all be fighting for All-Star roster spots. The center position might be a little easier even though, potentially seeing him fighting with KAT, Clint Capela, Rudy Gobert, Steven Adams, and possibly DeMarcus Cousins depending on his return.
Like Simmons, Jokic is one of those players that is a walking triple double. He will draw appreciation from the coaches and players rather than the average fan.
Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers
Ingram made a big jump in his second season. Ingram averaged career-highs in almost every statistical category this past season all while being the first option.
Ingram really created for himself and his teammates last season and he showed more aggression by getting to the basket frequently. He even added a new element as a shooter as he made 39 percent of his shots from deep.
This season Ingram could make the All-Star team while playing alongside LeBron James. He will have the opportunity to be the beneficiary of some nice dimes from James and sneakily score in bunches. It may be a bit far fetched, but it is still early in the season.
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Middleton is one of the most underrated players in the league. Even though he is not the flashiest player or dominates in a particular category, he is still a phenomenal player.
K-Midd had one of his best seasons of his career last season as he averaged 20.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and four assists per contest. He should also flourish under new coach Mike Budenholzer, a coach that focuses on spacing and versatility. Middleton fits the mold as someone who can pass, shoot, and slash.
Middleton making the All-Star team may not be far fetched.
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Mitchell is one of the early favorites to play in the All-Star game after averaging 20.5 points as a rookie. The only thing that could hold him back is being a guard out West. Players like Steph Curry, James Harden, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Damian Lillard all reside out West. Captains get to blur that East-West line, but the trick for Mitchell is to stick out like a sore thumb in his own conference.
The Jazz have a good chance at being a top team in the West as they play hard, lock teams up, and have one of the better coaches in Quin Synder. With that being said, don’t be surprised if Mitchell gets his first nod especially if Utah is in fact a top team out West record-wise.