Related Tags: De'Aaron Fox
The NBA has announced that from Christmas day this year we will be able to vote on who we want to be NBA all-stars this year.
Most of the usual suspects will be in there, but who will fill in those last few spots on the rosters? It’s always an interesting race that ends with people feeling snubbed.
One young player who’s had an amazing season so far is De’aaron Fox. He’s in his sophomore year in the NBA and is having a breakout season. In his rookie season, last year, he averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds. This season all of those numbers have leapt up to 17.9 points, 7.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds. He is certainly in the running for most improved player amongst a few others – Zach Lavine, Pascal Siakam, Montrezl Harrel, Nikola Vucevic, and team mate Buddy Hield to name a few.
With numbers like those and some of the clutch performances he’s put in down the stretch in some close games this season, as well as some amazing highlights, and all while his team is actually winning (the Kings are actually winning this season with a 16-14 record which is good for 8th in the West), Fox is right in the mix for being an all-star this year.
So let’s have a look at who he’s up against. So for guards in the West there is a lot of competition unfortunately. The 2 starting spots for guards look like they will be taken by James Harden and Steph Curry again probably. Then the 2 reserve guard spots will surely have to go to Westbrook and Lillard. And then that leaves 2 wild card slots. These can go to either a forward or a guard so usually they go to one of each, so for the purposes of this we’ll assume there is only one guard spot left. And there are various names that come up for the one remaining golden ticket. There is: De’Aaron Fox, Klay Thompson, Mike Conley, Jamal Murray, Demar Derozan, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul, Jrue Holiday, Donovan Mitchell, and Devin Booker. That’s a guard for almost every single team in the western conference. And they all have a reasonable shout at being an all-star. But when it comes down to it, in my opinion, the first four names on that list are probably the most likely to get a spot on the roster. Klay is a perpetual all-star, Conley is a player that is always considered but never manages to make the cut, and Jamal Murray is averaging 17.6 points and 5.1 assists on the top team in the western conference (that is absurd!). And then there’s Fox as well, who is putting up big numbers while leading his team to a playoff spot and shocking the whole NBA world by doing so.
If I had to pick one of those four to scratch out then it would probably be Klay Thompson. He’s probably only the fourth best player on his team, and despite being really good and actually breaking the record for most 3s in a single game against the Bulls earlier this year, he isn’t actually having the best year of his career. His 3 point percentage has dropped significantly from 44% last season to 35% this season. So for that reason he’s out.
Then picking between the other three guys is really tough, but if I had to pick someone then I would probably get rid of Jamal Murray next. It is actually crazy that I’m saying Murray shouldn’t make the all-star game with stats like that on the best team in the West, but he is only shooting 30% from this year which is below league average and he’s playing with a 14.4 player efficiency rating (PER) which is not outstanding at all. As well as that his box plus minus is -0.5 which suggests that he actually hurts his team a tiny bit when he’s out on the floor compared to when he’s not. That stat obviously often unreliable but in a race as tight as this for the last spot on the all-star team, that certainly counts.
So then we come to Mike Conley. This guy is averaging 20.4 points per game and 6.5 assists. He has a PER of 20.7 and box plus minus of 2.8 so the stats are with him. His team has shocked everyone to some degree by just playing very slow basketball and using the weapons they have in Conley and Gasol to be great defensively and offensively. It is impossible to leave out Mike Conley.
But I love De’aaron Fox. He is the perfect player to play in an all-star game because he can do crazy things on the court that other players (who may be actually better at basketball) cannot do.
So for that reason I am ready to bank on De’aaron Fox getting his first all-star call up this season, and I am absolutely sure he will have many more to come in the future.