This summer saw an almost unprecedented shift of All-Star level player talent in the NBA — and a lot of it went from the East to the West, including three East All-Stars from last season. The West is flat-out stacked — and that is before the possible arrival of Kyrie Irving and/or Carmelo Anthony.
It led to the question: What will the All-Star teams look like?
Yesterday we talked about the East. Today, I try to whittle down an insanely deep player pool to the 12-man Western Conference All-Star Team.
ALL-STAR STARTERS (two guards, three frontcourt players):
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
Comment: Remember, these are voted on by a combination of fan, media, and player votes. The West is so deep that other guys may well be deserving and could sneak in, but this seems like the most likely five. Curry is arguably the most popular player in the NBA and will likely lead fan voting, and Westbrook will still put up numbers. That front court is just ridiculous.
ALL-STAR RESERVES (two guards, three frontcourt players, two wild cards):
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Chris Paul (Houston Rockets)
Jimmy Butler (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
Comment: The reserves are selected by a vote of the coaches, and I don’t envy them trying to narrow this group down. How deep is the West? Here is another 12 guys, a full team, I had to leave off who very well could be deserving: Damian Lillard, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul Millsap, Mike Conley, Nikola Jokic, Devin Booker, C.J. McCollum, Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gaol, and Rudy Gobert. How guys play in the first half and, of course, injuries, will go a long way to deciding who gets in and who is out. Put simply, there are going to be “snubs” because the West is so deep and there are only so many slots. I went with guys who should put up numbers and be on teams that get a lot of notice because they win, but there are a lot of directions this could go.