There is always turnover year-over-year, but this season, there are quite a few All-Stars from last year who are unlikely to make the cut.
Let’s start with the most obvious omissions. Last season, big men Kristaps Porzingis and DeMarcus Cousins were both selected to the All-Star team but could not play due to injury. They’ve missed this season thus far and will not be on the All-Star team for the same reason.
Kevin Love was one of the injury replacements but he will likely not make it this season due to missed time with a painful toe injury, though the Cleveland star was playing pretty well for the first four games of the season (19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game) before he was sidelined.
Beyond that, there are several top players who have never made an All-Star team that could be honored this season.
Based on production, that lists now includes Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and more.
Voting has favored Dallas rookie Luka Doncic, who can also earn a bid this season.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Green recently blamed himself for a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, losing at home by more than 20 points even with James sidelined due to injury. He may have to take credit for other past and future losses, too. Because through 24 games this season, Green is averaging just 0.68 points per possession for the Warriors. According to Synergy Sports, that ranks last overall among all players who have finished 115 possessions on offense. His turnover ratio also currently ranks last (minimum: 20 minutes per game) in the league. Only one player has ever made an All-Star team with a turnover percentage above 28.0 percent, which is where Green currently falls. His assist ratio might currently be at a career-best but everything else has fallen behind.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Thompson is simply not connecting on his open looks so far this season. He is currently 34.9 percent from three-point range when his closest defender is at least four feet away. For comparison, Thompson was 46.6 percent in those scenarios last year. Perhaps most surprisingly, Golden State has played better with him on the bench than when he has been on the court. He is still capable of an electric shooting performance but his All-Star caliber play has been few and far between this season. Expect him to require the fan vote, where he ranks
Al Horford, Boston Celtics
Horford’s rebounding is down to a career-low rebounding, averaging just 6.3 boards per game. The big man is also averaging his fewest points per game (12.2 per game) since 2008-09. The Boston center has a career-low shooting percentage on short midrange attempts, shooting 19-for-52 (37.0 percent) on his field goals between four feet and fourteen feet of the basket. His player efficiency rating ranks No. 26 overall among all centers, per ESPN.com.
Goran Dragic, Miami Heat
Miami’s Goran Dragic was able to make the All-Star team last season largely due to his efficiency as a spot-up shooter. The point guard averaged 1.12 points per possession on this play type last year, which ranked in the 79th percentile among all players. But this year, he is averaging 0.83 points per possession (23rd percentile) when spotting up for the Heat, per Synergy. His overall field goal percentage (41.0 percent) is the worst it has been since his rookie season (39.3 percent) in 2008-09. According to ESPN, his player efficiency rating ranks No. 38 among point guards. He has played two games total since November 16 and will be sidelined due to injury until the All-Star break.
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Even despite an injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season, the Washington point guard was not playing up to snuff for an All-Star bid this season. He had been consistently coming up short on his non-corner three-pointers, shooting 44-for-151 (29.1 percent) on these looks. Only three players (minimum: 110 attempts) had been less accurate from this zone. The Wizards were no longer effective when he was in transition, averaging 0.94 points per possession. That ranked No. 38 of the 45 players who have thus far finished 100 possessions in transition. In fact, only two players (minimum: 100 minutes) averaged fewer miles per hour when on the court than Wall.
LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
His effective field goal percentage is currently 49.6 percent. This ranks in the 18th percentile among all bigs, per Cleaning the Glass. After connecting on at least twenty three-pointers in three of his last four seasons, he is currently just 2-for-14 (14.3 percent) from long range. Whereas he was previously at least someone defenders needed to guard when he stepped beyond the arc, he is now shooting more like a liability. Aldridge ranks No. 67 among all power forwards, per ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus.
DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
After shooting 31.0 percent from downtown last season, DeRozan is now at just 7-for-38 (18.4 percent) on his three-pointers. He is 1-for-19 (5.3 percent) on above the arc attempts from long range, which is the worst mark out of all players with at least six opportunities. DeRozan is 14-for-40 (35.0 percent) as a spot-up shooter on no dribble jumpers, per Synergy. Overall, he is 7-for-29 (24.1 percent) on three-pointers without a dribble. This ranks Bottom 6 out of the 261 players with as many opportunities.
Others On The Hot Seat
Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers: His performance has slowed recently, averaging just 15.1 points per game since December 15. Philadelphia will at least send one player to the All-Star team, but there’s no promise they’d also add Butler or Simmons.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards: Washington has been a center of dysfunction all season with little to write home about except trade rumors and injuries. Beal has not had the exceedingly exceptional play needed to transcend above a middling organization.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves: Much like with Beal, the Timberwolves have been a hotbed of negative press this season. While the 23-year-old 7-footer has been the best player on the team, he didn’t even make Top 10 in first votes for Western Conference frontcourt.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons: There could be a surplus of talent in the frontcourt for the Eastern Conference with Joel Embiid as well as Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo all taking roster spots.