We’ve officially reached the mid-point of the season, meaning it’s time to make our 2024 NBA All-Star predictions.

Hopefully, we get to see one of the greatest All-Star games ever, even though we already know the game isn’t exactly a defensive clinic and the intensity might not even be there. That’s why, sometimes, we need to see some first-time All-Stars reigniting the fire and proving that they care.

Five players who deserve All-Star nod

This time, however, we’re going to talk about those who might not get the nod. Either because of how stacked their position is, playing on a small market, or thriving on a losing team, these guys are likely to watch the festivities from home.

Alperen Sengun

There’s no such thing as another Nikola Jokic but if there were, it would probably look like Alperen Sengun. The Houston Rockets big man has taken a big leap forward this season, showcasing his playmaking skills, improving as a rim protector, and even putting up some impressive scoring numbers from time to time.

Thus far, Sengun is averaging a whopping 21.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 three-pointers per game on almost 54% from the floor. He’s tough to guard in the pick-and-roll and seems to have eyes on the back of his head. However, the Rockets are 11th in the West, and he’s not exactly popular.

       

Cade Cunningham

Cade Cunningham is currently out with an injury, but even if he wasn’t, there’s just no chance he’s going to be an All-Star. It’s nothing personal, though; it’s just that he plays for a Detroit Pistons team that’s on pace to set a record for the most losses in a single regular season, and you just can’t reward that.

The former first-overall pick has been on a tear this season, though, being the lone bright spot for Monty Williams‘s team. Cunningham has filled out the stat sheet with averages of 22.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.9 three-pointers per game on 45% from the floor.

Jalen Brunson

It’s hard to assess a player like Jalen Brunson. He’s not a superstar by any means, but he’s definitely an All-Star-caliber player. Then again, he’s stuck in a limbo in which he’s a very, very good player, but he’s not better or more popular than other Eastern Conference guards who will most definitely get the nod ahead of him.

Even so, he’s been the offensive catalyst for the New York Knicks this season again. Thus far, the Villanova product has averaged 25.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, stepping up in the clutch and leading the way for Tom Thibodeau’s side.

Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Haliburton might win the Haliburton vs Maxey debate in the All-Star race. I mean, it’s impossible to snub the guy leading the league in assists per game, even if that means also leaving out the second-most promising young guard in the Eastern Conference.

Tyrese Maxey has been the perfect No. 2 for Joel Embiid, and he’s even led the Philadelphia 76ers to multiple wins without the reigning MVP. Thus far, the fourth-year pro has averaged a whopping 26.1 points to go along with 6.7 dimes and 3.2 triples per contest.

Victor Wembanyama

We’re definitely going to see Victor Wembanyama in the Rising Stars game and perhaps even in the skills competition, but he should also be a part of the actual game. He’s already one of the best defensive players in the league.

Like with Cunningham, we cannot reward a player who’s a part of one of the absolute worst teams in the Association. Even so, Wembanyama has been quite solid on his own, averaging 19.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.5 three-pointers, and a league-leading 3.1 blocks per game.

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