Five players who will become the first NBA All-Stars in 2023, including Anthony Edwards and Jalen Brunson

Last season, five players – Ja Morant, Darius Garland, Fred VanVleet, DeJounte Murray and Andrew Wiggins – reached major career milestones as they made their first All-Star team.

Being selected as an All-Star is a big deal. This represents a big leap in stats and can be economically beneficial to players. There are several players poised to establish themselves as first-time All-Stars this season. Here are five leading candidates.

1. Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves)

After averaging over 20 points per game in the first two seasons of his young career, Edwards looks to be on the verge of superstardom. He already has All-Star charisma and a blossoming game to match. Last season, Edwards became the youngest player in NBA history to complete his 10 of his 3-pointers in one game. That’s what he accomplished against the Nuggets in December.

Edwards is also the perpetrator of the most egregious poster dunk the league has seen in the past two seasons.

At just 21, Edwards is already a legitimate third-level scorer and still has a lot of room to grow. His numbers increased across the board from rookie to sophomore season. If he follows the same trend this season, it will be very difficult to keep him off the All-Star team, even in the talented Western Conference, and it sounds like he’s working hard to make it happen.

“I’ve been working on everything,” Edwards said of the recent offseason via The Athletic. “It’s just gotten better. I’m trying to take that leap this year and be the best player I can be. I’m trying to take the team as far as I can…seem to be working harder than I am. “I’ve never had a job before. Now I’m happy with the results. I’m happy to see what it brings on the court.”

2. Jalen Brunson, Knicks

Jalen Brunson blossomed during his four years playing alongside Luka Doncic in Dallas. Last season, he started in 61 of his 79 games with the Mavericks, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per performance. Those numbers are solid to be sure, but his production in Dallas has always topped the ceiling next to a very ball-dominant guard like Doncic. This is not the case in New York because we get

Branson plans to become the Knicks’ lead guard next season (and beyond, given the fact that he signed a four-year contract with the team in the summer). may be affected. For starters, Branson isn’t very likely to come off the bench over 18 games like he did last season, giving him more consistent opportunities to get to work early on. Games, and perhaps more defined roles, can be beneficial. Also, after paying him over $100 million, the Knicks expect him to become very assertive. As a result, he is likely to surpass his career-best 12.8 shots per game last season, and will have the ball in his hands to create a lot for others.

Brunson should easily hit career highs for assists and points per game this season, and such a production boost could land him an All-Star nomination for the first time.

3. Tyrese Maxey, 76ers

Tyrese Maxey was a bit of a revelation for the Sixers last season. After inconsistent playing time in his rookie year, Maxie took over as the starting point guard after Ben Simmons’ absence last season and hasn’t looked back after James Harden was added to the roster. His numbers ballooned with his increasing role, and he quickly established himself as an integral part of Philadelphia’s offensive offense. it was done.

Between seasons one and two, Maxey’s scoring jumped from 8 to 17.5 points per game, and his assists doubled from 2 to 4.3. Most impressively, his 3-point shot completion percentage has skyrocketed from his 30% as a rookie to his 42% last season. This improvement will cement him as a great complement to All-Star center Joel Embiid, and his ability to play on and off the ball should go a long way toward advancing alongside Harden in the Philadelphia backcourt. Maxey has a relentless work ethic, and if he continues to develop, he could be named to several All-Stars in the future.

4. Collin Sexton, Jazz

Sexton may not be the most obvious pick at first, but he could be headed for a major recovery after being traded from the Cavaliers to the Jazz and agreeing to a new, fully-guaranteed four-year deal soon after. Season. Last year, Sexton was limited to just 11 games after tearing his meniscus in November. While on the sidelines, he became a somewhat forgotten man in Cleveland, largely due to the simultaneous appearance of All-Star guard Darius Garland.

But the year before, Sexton was widely regarded as one of the league’s most promising young players, averaging over 24 points and 4 assists per performance. In Utah, Sexton should once again have the opportunity to produce at a high level for a jazz team that is in the midst of rebuilding. , perhaps he’ll be rewarded with an All-Star nod.

5. Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers

Halliburton, who had a promising career start in Sacramento, was traded from the Kings to the Pacers midway through last season, and his numbers have improved since then. In his 26 games for Indiana, he averaged 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per performance. They call it filling out a stat sheet. The offseason and training with a new team Now that his camp is over, Halliburton, 22, may be ready to take the next step.

With a Pacers team so dependent on him, there’s no reason to think Halliburton can’t come close to averaging 20 points and 10 assists each night. Doing that and being named an All-Star are two of Halliburton’s personal goals for the upcoming campaign.

“I want to be a 20 to 10-year-old guy, and I want to be an All-Star,” he recently said via Basketball News. “Those are two personal goals I can achieve.”

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