5 Rookies Who Could Make 2014 NBA All-Star Team
Rookies With a Chance to Make NBA All-Star Team
Making an All-Star team is pretty tricky in the NBA because it’s a popularity contest, not based on your performance during the season. Being selected to an All-Star team as a rookie is even tougher based on that criteria, but it’s not unheard of.
Since 1951, 45 rookies have been selected to participate in the All-Star game. While players like Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal have made the game, others like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony have been left off. Between 1951 and 1998, it wasn’t uncommon to see almost one rookie per year make the All-Star game, but since 1998, only two rookies have made their respective squad: Yao Ming (2003) and Blake Griffin (2011).
Fan votes, which has become strictly a popularity vote, decide who starts for each squad, while the coaches of each conference vote on the reserves. Obtaining the fan vote has become nearly impossible, as evident by the lack of rookies in the game since 2000 and the lack of superstars like James and Anthony. So the only way a rookie is going to make the All-Star game is by having a ridiculous first half of the season and hope the coaches vote for their performance.
This season there doesn’t appear to be any fan-favorite rookies, so if any were to make the All-Star game it would be because of the other conference coaches. What are the odds of any of them making it this year? Pretty slim, but here are the five that have the best chance.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a 6-foot-9 shooting guard who could begin to remind people of Kevin Durant or Paul George. Antetokounmpo didn't play a lot during the month of November, but has really come on since the beginning of December. In the 29 games he's played this year he's averaging 6.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists. His stats may not be eye-popping, but given the Milwaukee Bucks are awful this year, Antetokounmpo could start looking like their savior by the end of January and is our fifth possible rookie to make an All-Star team.
4. Kelly Olynyk
Kelly Olynyk had the unfortunate event of being drafted by a team in full rebuild mode, but that has also allowed him to receive more planning time than he might have otherwise. In the 26 games he's played in this season, Olynyk has shown off what many saw while he was at Gonzaga. He has averaged 6.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.4 blocks per game. He may not be having an amazing season, but just enough to possibly make an All-Star team.
3. Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo is showing everyone why he should have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Through 35 games, Oladipo is averaging 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The Eastern Conference is a laughing stock at this point, so getting votes from conference coaches could come easy for the December Rookie of the Month.
2. Trey Burke
Trey Burke got off to a rough start this season after suffering an injury in the final preseason game which kept him out the first 12 regular season games. The Utah Jazz went 1-11 to start the season and have since gone 11-14 with Burke. He's done exactly what most thought he would, become the floor general for the Jazz and a potential franchise player. Burke is averaging 13.2 points, 5.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. In 25 games, Burke has done more than any other rookie besides our No. 1 guy.
1. Michael Carter-Williams
Michael Carter-Williams has been the biggest surprise, rookie wise, this season. Carter-Williams broke onto the scene in his first career game against the Miami Heat, almost finishing with not only a triple-double, but the elusive quadruple-double. Since then he's averaged 17.7 points, 7.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. If there is any rookie that deserves to make an All-Star team, it's Michael Carter-Williams.