US Sports Veteran
The following ten players are stars in the NBA. Some of them have been around for a few years while others are just entering their second official seasons. Either way they have all been great and yet none of them have ever made an All-Star game. I’m sure that will change this season, right?
Please note that these players are ordered alphabetically by first name, they aren’t ranked based on skill.
There are a bunch of offensive, high-volume scorers on this list, but none do it quite like Wiggins. The fifth year player out of Kansas has all of the talent in the world, now if only he would work on developing a defensive game. Just a little more effort and attention on the defensive side of the ball and he would be a perennial All-Star. Sadly though, it doesn’t look like he’ll become that player in the near future.
Simmons is entering his second official season despite being drafted back in 2016. The 6-10 point guard still doesn’t have a reliable jump shot but he’s still an incredible player. His drive to the basket and versatility on both ends of the court means he has more upside than almost any prospect in recent history. I just want to see him with a jump shot, but even without one he’s still great.
Defense isn’t exactly Ingram’s thing. Instead he makes up for his poor defense by making an impact at the offensive end of the floor. His play has gotten every year and now that he’s in his third season we’re beginning to see just what kind of player he’ll develop into.
McCollum is a great shooting guard, but he’s overshadowed by his teammate, Damian Lillard, and numerous other younger guards. Even though he’s just entering his sixth season, it’s unlikely McCollum will be able to separate himself from the building mountain of stud shooters entering the league.
Capela is an athletic center who specializes in rim protecting and scoring from inside the arc. He doesn’t have that three-point shooting ability that so many other big men have now but his defense makes up for his one-dimensional offense. Now entering his fifth season, Capela isn’t an All-Star just yet but he’s trending in that direction.
Booker is the definition of a pure scoring machine. Sure he’s on a terrible team, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the best shooters in the league. If you’re watching a Suns game, chances are you’re watching to see Booker. He’s now in his fourth season and it’s long past time for him to appear in an All-Star game.
Mitchell is another star player entering his second year in the NBA. As a rookie Mitchell put up over 20 points per game and will only play and score more in his sophomore season. If Jayson Tatum is smooth, then Mitchell is explosive. Not only can he dunk but he can just erupt from beyond the three-point arc and go on scoring tirades. The Spider is the next great scoring guard in the NBA.
Unfortunately, it looks like Brown’s assentation to stardom will have to wait. The Celtics almost have to many playmakers on their team right now so Brown’s scoring is going to dip instead of increasing. He’s still a terrific defender who will one day be an NBA All-Star.
The smooth second-year small forward out of Duke has a bright future. Despite not being fully developed in terms of muscle and physical build yet, Tatum has an uncanny ability to finish whenever he gets near the basket and for a 6-8 forward he’s got good ball control. Honestly, When I watch him he just plays so smooth it’s like he’s gliding around the court. It might not be his time to be an All-Star just yet but surely by his fourth season his time will have arrived.
Middleton has been good for a while now. He has three 1,000 point seasons and averaged over 20 points per game last year. That alone isn’t very unique, but Middleton also added four assists, five rebounds, and 1.5 steals. He’s become an all-around player who is a great complimentary player to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Williams is entering his fourteenth season and is actually one year older than Mike Conley. Williams exploded off the bench for the Clippers last season and was the Sixth Man of the Year. 2017 was his best season in the NBA and he’ll be hard pressed to repeat it. Still, he’s been scoring well in 2018 so far and could make another push for an All-Star appearance.
I feel like Conley would have been on this list for the better part of the last decade. Granted he did miss almost all of last season so his status entering his twelfth season was a little up in the air. He hasn’t shot well this season but I’ll give him a little more time before a start souring on his game. Conley’s best season came back in 2016 and at age 31 he’ll likely start trending backwards not forwards, but he’s still been one of the best point guards in the league for a while. He never really got the recognition he deserves but that might be because he plays on the Grizzlies.
I’m not sure how Jokic fell into the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. The 6-10 center from Serbia is an all-around stud. While he’s not the most athletic player on the court, Jokic can play in the post, shoot three-pointers, rebound, and pass. Now entering his fourth season, he’s on pace for his best season yet and will have the Nuggets in playoff position this year.
Can someone tell me how the 2017-18 Defensive Player of the Year didn’t make the All-Star game? The 7-1 Frenchman is entering his sixth season in the NBA. This year Gobert is scoring and rebounding at an even high pace than last season. Considering all he’s proven over the last few years, it’s about time the NBA gives him his dues and makes him an All-Star.
LaVine was a high-flying, dunking sensation a few years ago with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then consecutive two seasons with injuries derailed his promising rise to stardom. But now that he’s in his fifth season and on a rebuilding Bulls team, LaVine has taken charge on offense. Right now he’s destroying his previous personal points per game record and is once again flying around the court.
Aaron Gordon PF Orlando Magic
Gordon has had a slow start to 2018 but he had a career year in 2017. He was putting up about 17.5 points per game along with close to eight rebounds. The fifth season Arizona product has put up over 1,000 points in each of the last two seasons but needs to work more on his defensive game and ball distribution.
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