Ranking Early 2019 First Time NBA All-Star Candidates
Although it's very early in the season, OrlandoMagic.com's Josh Cohen ranks the players who have a chance at being a first time All-Star in February. Click through this slideshow for full rankings and analysis.
Note: The contents of this gallery have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic and do not reflect the opinions of the Magic’s Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors.
Ben Simmons – Only time will tell if Philly acquiring Jimmy Butler will be a good thing for Joel Embiid, Simmons and Markelle Fultz. As long as the Sixers are sitting high up in the standings, Simmons will almost certainly get some All-Star consideration even if he doesn't seem substantially improved from last year.
Jayson Tatum – Although the start to the 20-year-old’s season has been slightly disappointing, the fact that he’s arguably Boston’s second best player makes him a legitimate candidate, assuming the Celtics are top three in the East when All-Star selections are made.
Donovan Mitchell – Similar to Tatum, Mitchell has been surprisingly inefficient through Utah’s first 13 games, shooting just 40 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range. But, the 22-year-old is still an explosive scorer on a team that has the potential to rise in the standings.
Aaron Gordon – Somewhat quietly, Gordon has become one of the league’s best two-way players. He’s been filling up stat sheets lately while playing outstanding defense.
Mike Conley – If the playoffs started today, the Grizzlies would be the No. 4 seed in the West, which is stunning considering they were one of the worst teams last season. The return of their vastly underrated point guard is a big reason why they’ve jumped back into the postseason mix.
Kyle Kuzma/Brandon Ingram – In all likelihood, LeBron James will be the only Laker playing in this season’s All-Star Game. If the coaches feel he’s received enough help, Kuzma or Ingram could sneak in as they’ve both been solid to start the year.
Clint Capela – The Rockets were in the news a lot at the beginning of the season due to their poor start along with their decision to waive Carmelo Anthony. What has taken a backseat, probably unfairly, is the tremendous play of Capela, who is averaging 15.8 points and 10.9 rebounds through Houston’s first 14 games.
Tim Hardaway Jr. – Barring a miraculous turnaround, the Knicks won’t have enough wins to have a representative in the All-Star Game. But, there’s no question that Hardaway Jr. is putting up All-Star numbers while making a strong case to be the league’s Most Improved Player.
Steven Adams - Since their 0-4 start, the Thunder have been scorching hot, winning nine of their last 10 games. Adams, who is averaging career highs across the board to this point, has been instrumental in OKC's recent success.