If NBA fans still exclusively elected All-Star starters, Andrew Wiggins might get the nod.
Alas, the Warriors forward climbing to third in fan voting among Western Conference frontcourt players no longer means as much.
The fan vote still accounts for 50% of the formula, but the media (25%) and players (25%) will have their say. So, the NBA’s weekly release of All-Star fan voting lacks its prior sizzle.
Still, here are the latest returns:
Western Conference frontcourt
Wiggins’ rise in fan voting does give him a chance to start.
LeBron James (first in fan voting) and Nikola Jokic (second) will claim two starting spots at the position. With Paul George (fourth), Anthony Davis (fifth) and Kawhi Leonard injured, the third is up for grabs.
Defensive-first players Draymond Green (sixth) and Rudy Gobert (ninth) don’t capture major fan support, though the media should rank them highly. Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (eighth) seemingly suffers from playing on a mediocre team in a small market.
So, it’s far from impossible for Wiggins to start. But I’d bet on someone else.
Western Conference guard
Ja Morant passed Luka Doncic for second among Western Conference guards – making Morant even more likely to snag the starting spot next to Stephen Curry. Morant already figured to rate highly enough among media and players to land the role, though Doncic still has a chance if he wins the fan vote.
Eastern Conference guard
DeMar DeRozan is a lock. Trae Young (second in fan voting) and Zach LaVine (third) passed James Harden (fourth) in what looks like a close race for the second spot. Every slot in fan voting matters in the final computation.
Eastern Conference frontcourt
Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid are locks to start.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant remain the leading vote-getters in their conferences. But LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo – captains the previous two years – are within striking distance.