NBA All-Star Weekend has seen a plethora of changes over the years, but one thing has remained constant — only the best players from the Eastern and Western Conferences are deemed worthy of All-Star honors.
The league is at a healthy point currently, with perennial All-Stars still producing at a high level for almost a decade and new swabs of talent breaking through the ranks to make their names known.
But how will that, and the stunning offseason moves that took place, affect how the rosters for the NBA All-Star 2020 games shape out?
We're taking a look at the players that could potentially make it to Chicago for the 69th NBA All-Star Game.
LeBron James, F Los Angeles Lakers
There's not much to say about this one. The most notable player in the sport has been to 15 straight All-Star games, and 2020 will be no different. See you in Chicago.
Kawhi Leonard, F Los Angeles Clippers
After a season-long sabbatical in Canada that resulted in a measly NBA Championship, Kawhi Leonard is back in the Western Conference and immediately propelled the Los Angeles Clippers into title contention. With Paul George by his side, it's more about chasing league MVP honors than it is another All-Star appearance in 2020.
Anthony Davis, F Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis will be joining LeBron James at the NBA All-Star Game for the first time as teammates. Arguably the best big man in the league, Davis will have no problem putting up the numbers necessary in Los Angeles to earn himself an All-Star spot. The question is whether he'll make it back into the starting lineup.
Stephen Curry, G Golden State Warriors
Prepare for some astronomical numbers from Stephen Curry this season. With the departure of Kevin Durant to Brooklyn in the offseason and Klay Thompson suffering a torn ACL in the NBA Finals, the 2-time MVP will have to don the infinity gauntlet and do it all by himself this year. Draymond Green will provide coverage on the defensive side of the ball and former All-Star D'Angelo Russell will be good support, but Curry will remain the source of offensive production for Steve Kerr's team.
James Harden, G Houston Rockets
James Harden is back playing alongside his best friend in Russell Westbrook and the fruits of that renewed partnership should show. According to Rockets head coach D'Antoni, Harden will remain the Rockets ball-dominant guard, with all offensive production running through him. Don't be surprised if Houston is consistently putting up 130 points per game.
The Likely Candidates
Damian Lillard, G Portland Trailblazers
If you're looking for a darkhorse MVP candidate this season, look no further than Damian Lillard. Portland's point guard is an offensive juggernaut, averaging over 20 points per game over the last six seasons, and will be making a run at a starting spot in Chicago this year.
Nikola Jokic, F Denver Nuggets
'The Joker' really could have made it into our "Lock" section, but the West is unbelievably loaded this year. However, Jokic has blossomed into the game's beautiful unicorn, a player so large and clumsy-looking in stature that his guard-like passing skills truly make your jaw hit the hardwood.
Russell Westbrook, G Houston Rockets
A lot will look different about Westbrook this season. For one, he'll be wearing colors other than Oklahoma City's for the first time in his career. But, as mentioned above, he'll also be playing off the ball a lot more with Harden commanding the offense. While that might slash his numbers, Westbrook's patented pace of play will still ensure that he'll get his on the stat sheet. The Rockets are expected to be a top three team in the West thanks to their dynamic duo.
Paul George, F Los Angeles Clippers
One season after signing a four-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul George somehow found himself getting his wish and being traded to Los Angeles to team up with Kawhi Leonard. By All-Star Weekend in 2019, George was putting up MVP numbers and at times looked like one of the biggest offensive threats in the game. With the cushion of Leonard on defense in LA, expect him to produce a heavy dose of scoring on one of the most lethal offenses in the league.
Karl-Anthony Towns, F Minnesota Timberwolves
With the midseason departure of Jimmy Butler last year, Towns became the lone sheriff in Minnesota. At 23 years old, the center is only becoming more dominant and should be well on his way to a third All-Star selection.
Donovan Mitchell, G Utah Jazz
The addition of notorious All-Star snub Mike Conley will aid Mitchell's development in the backcourt this season, and could be the final piece needed to help the Louisville product push his way into his first All-Star selection. If Mitchell continues his upward trajectory and can produce 24 points per game for one of the West's biggest darkhorses, it'll be tough to prevent him from making it to Chicago.
C.J. McCollum, G Portland Trailblazers
McCollum's stock has never been higher after a Western Conference Finals appearance last season. With the tandem of McCollum and Lillard locked and loaded for another run this season, expect the former to slot into the space on the roster usually reserved for a scorer like Klay Thompson.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, F Milwaukee Bucks
The reigning MVP is back and getting a starting spot in the 2020 All-Star game will be his first step towards his goal of leading Milwaukee to a berth in the NBA Finals.
Kyrie Irving, G Brooklyn Nets
After a tumultuous, yet personally productive season with the Celtics, Kyrie Irving has a new home in Brooklyn. With Kevin Durant likely to miss the entirety of the 2019-20 season as he rehabs a torn achilles, Irving will be the focal point of a young Nets team trying to make waves in the East.
Kemba Walker, G Boston Celtics
In Irving's place steps former Hornets superstar Kemba Walker, who is coming to Boston with hopes of Eastern Conference playoff success. Walker spent eight seasons in Charlotte, making the All-Star game in his three final seasons, but never helped the Hornets reach that next level to truly make them contenders in the East.
Joel Embiid, F Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid's own body is the only thing that will hold him back from All-Star appearances for the next decade. If healthy, the backbone of the Sixers core will find himself as a starter once again in his third All-Star appearance.
The Likely Candidates
Jimmy Butler, F Miami Heat
After playing in the talented ensemble in Philadelphia last year, Butler opted for sunnier pastures in Miami over the offseason. While the Heat will be fighting for a playoff spot in the East, Butler should be able to put up healthy stats as the team's main scoring option and secure a reserve spot on the All-Star team.
Blake Griffin, F Detroit Pistons
Griffin made his return to the All-Star game in 2019 after a five-year hiatus. Now out of the Western Conference, the athletic big has a much easier path to selection ever year, especially if he keeps up with his numbers from last year. Griffin brought in 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists for Detroit, and the Pistons offseason immobility makes it easy to see him being relied on just as heavily this year.
Victor Oladipo, G Indiana Pacers
Oladipo's career resurgence in Indiana looks to continue going into this season, especially with the addition of Malcolm Brogden to the Pacers squad. With more spots open in the East due to the exodus of talent like Leonard and the injury of Durant, Oladipo should safely make it to Chicago for his third All-Star appearance.
Kyle Lowry, G Toronto Raptors
The departure of Leonard makes Kyle Lowry the main man in Toronto once again and will likely push him towards a sixth-straight All-Star selection. Lowry dished out a career-high 8.7 assists last year and will look to improve his 14.2 points per game from last season with more time with the ball in his hands. While the Raptors record may sour, Lowry's numbers should flourish back up.
Bradley Beal, G Washington Wizards
With John Wall still nursing an injured achilles, Bradley Beal will still be the focus of the Wizards' offense this year. He's coming off the most productive year of his career, averaging 25.6 points and 5.5 assists per game, and won't see any dip in possessions.
Jayson Tatum, F Boston Celtics
In just two years, Jayson Tatum has experienced the fruits of playing out of your shoes and the foils that can come with high expectations. Now in his third year, Tatum can truly blossom into the player that many pegged him to be following his rookie year. There's no guarantee that Tatum will make the All-Star jump, but Walker has already publicly spoken about how he'd like to get the young wing to raise his game and become a main cog in the Celtics offense.
Al Horford, F Philadelphia 76ers
With a move to Philadelphia over the offseason, Al Horford could be set for one of the final All-Star appearances of his career. He'll be paired down low with Embiid, immediately making the two the most dynamic frontcourt duo in the entire conference. Horford isn't the flashy stat-stuffer fans prefer to see in the All-Star showcases, but he's been selected consistently over the years for being an invaluable member of a team with title hopes.
Pascal Siakim, F Toronto Raptors
And at the end of this list comes the first real WHAT pick. The odds of Siakim making the jump to All-Star this year are slim, but it's still a solid pick if you find yourself a betting man. Siakim made a huge jump in his third year in the league, averaging 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game and winning NBA Comeback Player of the Year for the eventual NBA Champions. With Leonard now out of the picture, even more spotlight will be placed on the Senegalese player in hopes of continued success for the franchise. He's our wildest of wild card picks, but don't be surprised if you see him sneak into the reserves come February.
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