Being selected to an All-Star team in the NBA is a very big honor for players. In a league of over 400 players, only 24 players are selected to compete against each other in a game of the best.
Now the starting lineup is selected by the public, which means you just have to be popular and liked by fans. There have even been players like Kobe Bryant and Yao Ming, who barely play during the regular season and are voted in to participate in the All-Star game. The NBA all star reserves are selected by the coaches in their respective conferences. Each NBA coach has the option of picking any seven players (2 guards, 2 forwards, 1 center and 2 more regardless of position) from their conference that does not play for their team.
Choosing players to play in the game is not the easiest task. You have to consider things such as individual stats, team stats, team record, how players affect their teammates and more. Some players are chosen based on their team play, such as the Atlanta Hawks last year, who had four of their five starters selected to the all star team because they had the best record at all star break at 43-11.
Many fans and others have a problem with players being selected from teams with bad records. Before LeBron James returned to Cleveland last year, Kyrie Irving have never seen the postseason before, but he is a three time all star. Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis and others were also selected from teams that were not good at the time, but you can't deny that these are four of the best players in the league right now.
Although coaches usually have some pretty good picks, there are many players in the league who have never enjoyed a well deserved All Star experience.
The following 15 players make up some of the never before seen All Stars.
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15 Andrew Wiggins
I know Wiggins is still young and will probably be an all star down the line, but his play right now has to be recognized. Wiggins came out strong during his rookie season last year averaging 17 PPG. However, the Timberwolves lost Kevin Love in exchange for Wiggins, making them a pretty bad team.
The Timberwolves had the worst record in the league last season at 16-66, and earned them the first pick in this year's NBA Draft. The Timberwolves currently have a lot of young talent on their team and have beaten the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, and Miami Heat this season. With the competition being so competitive in the Western Conference, Wiggins will most likely have to become a fan favorite to get voted into the starting lineup or lead his team to a winning record to get into the All Star game.
14 Draymond Green
When Draymond Green first entered the league with the Warriors, he started off slow starting in only 13 games in his first two seasons. Last year Green broke out starting in 79 games, being selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and of course playing a huge role in the Warriors winning their first championship since 1975. Last season, Green was also the runner-up for both Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year Awards.
This season, the Warriors are hot as helland Green is remains part of that success. Currently in his 4th season, it's time to add All Star to Green's resume.
13 Bradley Beal
Beal is currently playing in his fourth season and is set for a break out year. In his first three seasons with the Washington Wizards, Beal has helped the Wizards reach the playoffs twice. Before Beal was drafted by the Wizards in 2012, the Wizards missed the playoffs the previous five seasons.
Beal, alongside All Star John Wall, have made a nightmare backcourt for opponents. Beal is expected to be the forerunner for Most improved Player this season, and right now he is not disappointing. Beal has always had a slight injury bug problem, but once he gets past that, making an All-Star team should be no problem.
12 DeAndre Jordan
Jordan started off as a decent starting center for the Clippers, but in the 2013-14 season, Jordan stepped his game up by averaging 10.4 ppg and 13.6 rpg, leading the league in rebounds the last two seasons. During that time, the Clippers had a record of 113-51, and reach the Conference Semi-Finals twice, although they can not seem to make the Western Conference Finals.
Jordan has also led the league in FG% the last two seasons and had been top five in BPG. This season, Jordan continues to find his stride. However, the Clippers are currently struggling which may hurt Jordan's chances of making the squad. Not to mention he is teammates with All-Stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
11 Derrick Favors
When Favors first entered the league, he bounced around from team to team. When he got to the Utah Jazz, he finally found his home. Favors has always been overlooked because, well he plays for the Utah Jazz: a team who have not made the playoffs the last three seasons.
This season, Favors is the best player on his team by far, which isn't really saying much. Favors is actually a highly underrated. The Jazz are off to a decent star and could prove to be a surprise playoff contender this season.
10 Greg Monroe
Despite Monroe's rookie season, he has averaged at least 15 PPG every season since. Most know that Monroe is a really good player, but the Detroit Pistons were a really bad team. Monroe has never reached the playoffs in his career and has decided to take his talents to Milwaukee.
The Bucks are off to a rough start, but their team is no where close to healthy. They just got back Jabari Parker and John Henson, so they should be making some noise soon. The Bucks did beat Cleveland in double OT, which shows their team does have some potential. The Bucks did make the playoffs last year without Monroe, but they lost in the first round 4-2 to the Chicago Bulls. If the Bucks can get their record up, which isn't that hard in the Eastern Conference, Monore may have a first class ticket to play in the All-Star game.
9 Mike Conley
Mike Conley may be the most underrated point guard in the entire league. The Grizzles have been to the playoffs the last five seasons with Conley as their starting point guard, including the Western Conference Finals in the 2012-13 season. The following season after they got swept by the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, Conley averaged a career high 17 PPG.
Conley has had trouble making the All-Star game due mainly to other points guards that are in the Western Conference. Conley has to compete with Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, Chris Paul and now the addition of Rajon Rondo to the Western Conference.
8 Nikola Vucevic
Mikola Vucevic began his career with the Philadelphia 76ers but has since joined the Orlando Magic. Last season, Vucevic averaged a career high in points (19 PPG) along with 11 RPG. Since becoming a member of the Magic, Vucevic has yet to reach the postseason.
Vucevic is off to a slow start to the season but things are not looking that bad. The Magic have dealt with injurie but they may still grab a low seeded playoff spot of they keep playing at this level.
7 Monta Ellis
Ellis is one of the best scoring guards in the NBA. He can shoot, drive, pass, and play defense. Ellis has always been looked at as a role player, but why not an All-Star? In the 2009-10 season, Ellis averaged a career high in ppg at 25.5, including 5.5 apg and 2.2 spg.
Ellis has been the first or second scoring option on every team he has played for. This season, Ellis is playing his first season with the Indiana Pacers and things are not going as planned. Ellis is playing alongside superstar Paul George and also has players such as Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles that like to score and shoot just as much as him. If the Pacers want to go deep in the playoffs and if he wants to make his first All-Star appearance, Ellis will have to play better than what he is doing now.
6 Al Jefferson
Jefferson is one of the best big man in the league, but thing he hasn't done yet, is make it to an NBA All-Star game. Since the 2006-07 season, Jefferson has average at least 16 PPG and 8 RPG. When Jefferson first arrived to the Charlotte Bobcats at that time during the 2013-14 season, he averaged 22 PPG and 11 RPG and helped bring the Bobcats to the playoffs for the second time in franchise history.
This season, Jefferson has not been himself. However, despite Jefferson's struggles, the Hornets are contending. Jefferson usually starts of seasons slow, but he will have to pick up his play, especially if he wants a spot on this year's All-Star roster.
5 Rudy Gay
After his rookie season, Gay has averaged at least 17 PPG every year since. Gay is always the first or second option on every team he has played on. Due to injury, Gay has only played in the postseason once in his career.
After leaving a consistent playoff team with the Memphis Grizzles, Gay went to the Toronto Raptors for short period of time. While there, the Raptors did not make the playoffs at all, so Gay went back to the Western Conference to the Kings, which wasn't the best idea. The Kings have not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.
This season the Kings have added some key pieces like Rajon Rondo and Marco Belinelli, but that still may not be enough as a bad star to the year has it looking as though the Kings will miss the playoffs again. However, will Gay finally find a spot on the All-Star squad?
4 Brandon Knight
Knight was one of the most surprising players last season that did not get selected to the All-Star game when he was with the Milwaukee Bucks. Knight was then traded to the Phoenix Suns halfway through the season, which shocked even more.
Now that Knight is with the Suns, he is showing his full potential and is holding nothing back.Knight had a game this year against the Lakers where he had 30 pts, 10 rebs, 15 assts and 4 steals. The Suns are playing medicore bll but have the highest scoring backcourt in the NBA with Knight and teammate Eric Bledsoe.
3 Eric Bledsoe
Knight's teammate Eric Bledsoe is another overlooked player. Since leaving the Los Angeles Clippers and Chris Paul's shadow, Bledsoe has flourished in the league. Since leaving the Clippers, Bledsoe has averaged at least 17 PPG with the Suns.
This season, Bledsoe is playing career high ball. Bledsoe is apart of the highest scoring backcourt with Brandon Knight as the Suns sit in the middle of the Western Conference. With a full season with Knight and Bledsoe and the addition of players like Tyson Chandler, the Suns may snag a lower playoff seed and Bledsoe may finally make an All-Star team.
2 Andre Drummond
During his rookie season, Drummond only started 10 games. The following season, Drummond started every game he played and took full advantage of it. Since starting for the Pistons, Drummond has averaged at least 13 PPG and 13 RPG.
This season, with the departure of Greg Monore, Drummond has made the paint his. Drummond is currently averaging career highs and appears to be on a role this season.
After a great start to the year, the Pistons have slowed down but Drummond is rolling. If the Pistons have a decent record by the break, Drummond should be an easy All-Star selection.
1 Kawhi Leonard
Leonard was named the Defensive Player of the Year last season, but one thing he was not named was an NBA All-Star. Leonard won his first NBA Championship in 2014 as well as his first Finals MVP.
Leonard has always been recognized as a defender but this season he should be recognized as an All-Star. Leonard has been the Spurs best defender since he came to the team in 2011. However, Leonard has dealt with injuries so far in career and never played a full season. This season, Leonard and the Spurs look healthy and may make a run for the red hot Warriors in the playoffs. Leonard has only missed one game this season so far and if he can stay healthy, he should be an All-Star no questions asked.
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