By Court Zierk @courtzierk on August 19, 2014
The NBA is going through a proverbial renaissance period, and it arguably has as much talent as it has had since the early 90s. Deciding the All-Star roster will of course become a daunting task and will result in obvious snubs. Here are 10 players who should become fixtures in the game, year after year.
Chandler Parsons may be the biggest wildcard on this list. His career could take off or plummet in Dallas, but one thing is for sure; he will get his chance to prove whether he is an All-Star or a role player. Assuming success, Parsons could have a long career with the Mavericks, as he may be the torchbearer when Dirk Nowitzki decides to hang it up.
Drummond nearly doubled his output from his rookie season in year two, and we should see another significant jump in year three. There is no reason to believe he won’t supplant Roy Hibbert’s place on the team next season. Really, only Al Jefferson stands in his way. Expect Drummond to become a fixture in the NBA All-Star game.
Beal is in a tough spot, because he not only has to battle the other shooting guards in the East for a spot on the All-Star team, he also has to battle his own teammate, John Wall. That said, with Paul George out for the year and in for a lengthy recovery, Beal could very well take that spot on the roster for the next few years.
Dragic really should have been an All-Star last season, but he lost out to a crowded point guard class in the West. If Dragic continues on the trajectory he has been on, at some point, he just can’t be denied. It could be a year-after-year battle between him and Damian Lillard for a spot on the team.
Teague really had a coming out party in last year’s playoffs and has vowed to put on some additional weight to help elevate himself into the elite point guard category. Kyrie Irving’s numbers could take a dip with LeBron on the team, so I would expect Teague to make a serious case for a spot on the team next year and going forward.
Exum is another wildcard, since not only has he not played a minute in the NBA yet, but he also has very little experience in competitive situations at all. That said, he sure does look like he could quickly become one of the top guards in the league. I seriously underestimated his talent, but having a chance to watch him play, he may immediately have the best court awareness in the league.
Faried has been making a name for himself over the past year, and his presence on Team USA this summer may truly launch him to the next level. He is already a fan favorite for the Nuggets, and with him gaining popularity across the league, he should get plenty of fan votes. He is also a pretty darn good player, and if he can sustain the success he had over the last half of the season, he should be a no-brainer.
The second rookie on the list, Parker feels like a much less risky pick for this list. I think his game translates superbly to the NBA, and he will immediately make an impact on a bad Bucks team. He may be a year away from making an All-Star team, but once he makes it, expect him to be a fixture there for the better part of a decade.
Stephenson will get his chance to truly emerge as the star player on the Hornets. He made a borderline case last season for an All-Star bid, but I expect his game to truly take off in Charlotte. Fans either love him or hate him, but they certainly know who he is, which means he will get plenty of fan votes.
It isn’t often that an NBA Finals MVP is considered unheralded, but that is exactly the case for Kawhi Leonard. However, his game will be overlooked no more. He should take a more prominent role in the Spurs' offense this season, and if he played anything close to how he played in the finals, he will be a perennial All-Star without question.
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