Predicting 5 First-Time NBA All-Stars In 2023 | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Predicting 5 First-Time NBA All-Stars In 2023

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    The dawn of a new NBA season will soon spawn a new batch of first-time All-Stars.

    That’s just how the Association’s assembly line operates. Every year, a group of previous All-Stars no longer makes the cut and a collection of up-and-comers takes their place.

    Last season, seven players made their All-Star debuts: Ja Morant, LaMelo Ball, Darius Garland, Andrew Wiggins, Dejounte Murray, Fred VanVleet and Jarrett Allen. The following five players have a chance to follow in their footsteps and earn the first of potentially many invitations to the world’s greatest pickup game.

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    From his charisma and flash to his overstuffed stat sheets and highlight reels, Edwards appears as if he was delivered straight from central casting. Well, that or the basketball gods themselves.

    The top pick in 2020, his career trajectory is already an arrow pointing straight to the top. He was an All-Rookie first-teamer in 2020-21, then he increased his production across the board last season. When the campaign closed, his final tallies included 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals—a line only previously produced by three NBA sophomores: LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Dwyane Wade.

    Edwards’ game is equal parts unstoppable strength and unshakeable confidence. That’s a powerful blend, particularly when paired with the 6’4″, 225-pounder’s elite athleticism. His play style is incredibly friendly on the eyes, as he boasts both a fiery three-point stroke (215 triples last season, 14th overall) and some of the best rim-rockers in the business.

    While past iterations of the Timberwolves dulled their own stars’ shine by falling flat in the team’s success department, last season’s playoff emergence and this summer’s blockbuster trade for Rudy Gobert could flip that around. Edwards doesn’t necessarily need any help to earn the nod, but his argument only grows louder if Minnesota sprints out of the gate.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one of only 11 players to average at least 23 points, five assists and four rebounds in each of the last two seasons. He’s also the only member of that club not to book an All-Star trip during this stretch.

    Now, there are reasons he hasn’t earned the call yet—injuries and losses topping the list—but a lack of talent isn’t one of them. In fact, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman recently crowned Gilgeous-Alexander as the league’s best non-All-Star.

    Gilgeous-Alexander has the statistics needed to back up that claim, and his silky smooth style gives it even more credence. He is never rushed on the hardwood but is somehow always a step ahead. His value stretches to both ends of the floor, he thrives both on and off the ball and he manages to make noise on a Thunder team designed to keep quiet in the league standings.

    Oklahoma City won’t try to accelerate its rebuild this summer—not with Chet Holmgren already sidelined for its entirety, and certainly not with Victor Wembanyama sitting atop the 2023 draft board—so it’ll be on Gilgeous-Alexander to forge his own All – Star path. He has a shot at making his stat sheet so absurd that it offsets OKC’s likely abysmal record.

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers

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    Plucked out of a congested Sacramento Kings backcourt and into the most prominent part of the Pacers’ rebuild, Tyrese Haliburton is ready for the spotlight.

    “I want to be a 20-and-10 guy and I want to be an All-Star,” Haliburton told Alex Kennedy of “Those are two personal goals for me that, I think, are attainable.”

    Those should be ambitious aims for a zero-time All-Star with career averages of 14.3 points and 6.9 assists, but Haliburton is already trending in that direction. In 26 games after the trade, he gave the Pacers 17.5 points and 9.6 assists per night. If that wasn’t enough, he also put together a pristine 50.2/41.6/84.9 shooting slash and gave away just 3.2 turnovers per night.

    For context, only three players averaged 17 points and nine assists last season. None of them shot 50 percent from the field or 40 percent from three, and only one (Dejounte Murray) averaged fewer than four turnovers.

    Come All-Star selection time, Haliburton’s numbers should impress both in quantity and quality. They’ll probably need to, too, since the Pacers are unlikely to offer much team-success support.

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    It takes a special type of talent to secure an All-Star spot as a sophomore, but Evan Mobley has the game, grit and gumption to get it done.

    Just ask the general managers who made Mobley the top choice for this season’s breakout player in the annual survey. Clearly, they were as blown away as the rest of us by his high-impact rookie season.

    While he didn’t take home Rookie of the Year (he was runner-up to Toronto’s Scottie Barnes), Mobley arguably flashed the highest two-way ceiling in his class. He’s already an elite defender—he was eighth in total blocks and sliced ​​10.6 percentage points off of his opponents’ shooting rates within six feet—and could be knocking on the door of offensive stardom, too.

    On offense, he is reliable around the rim and explosive above it. His shooting needs further development, but there are flashes of a jumper that should soon push out past the three-point arc. Throw in some sneaky-good table-setting (2.5 assists per game), and you have the foundation for a do-it-all 7-footer. Whenever he snags his first All-Star spot, it feels like he could hold it for a decade.

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

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    Jamal Murray appeared well on his way toward an All-Star ascension before an April 2021 ACL tear cost him the remainder of that campaign and all of the 2021-22 season. A year and change later, it could be right back on the bike for the scoring guard who enjoys a wine-and-cheese type of fit with reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.

    Murray makes scoring seem effortless. In his last healthy season, he played 48 games and cleared 20-plus points in 30 of them, including nine 30-plus-point outbursts and a 50-point explosion. If he heated up a pinch from three and the stripe, he’d already be a card-carrying member of the 50/40/90 club. Instead, he “settled” for a 47.7/40.8/86.9 slash line.

    Murray routinely works two-man magic with Jokic, and those two are even harder to handle when Michael Porter Jr. is healthy. commands a huge chunk of defensive attention. Murray is patient but purposeful, aggressive but rarely ever reckless. He is confident enough to pull up from anywhere, yet he rarely fires up a questionable shot.

    With the Nuggets poised to climb the Western Conference ladder, Murray looks more than ready for his own leap. He was already on the elevator going up, the journey just took a little longer than expected.

    Statistics used courtesy of Basketball Reference and

    Zach Buckley covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @ZachBuckleyNBA.

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