The NBA is flush with talent, which means not every player gets the credit they deserve. Most of these guys are young players just looking for an opportunity to crack into the ranks of the perennial All-Stars. It’s a challenge for young players to be recognized now because there are so many great players who often end up becoming fan favorites and almost monopolize awards, like All-Star selections. With that in mind, here are ten players I believe will become All-Stars within the next couple of seasons.
*All numbers are accurate as of the morning of March 10, 2019
#10 Rudy Gobert, C Utah Jazz
Gobert was the Defensive Player of the Year last season and made the All-NBA second team back in the 2016-17 season, yet he’s still never been an All-Star. It’s hard to say whether he’ll ever make the All-Star game though as he plays an old fashioned style of basketball and rarely ever takes three-point shots. He’s mostly known for his defense as well and some people believe he needs to put forth more effort on offense. This season Gobert is averaging 15.4 points, 2.1 assists, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. He’s shooting .651 percent from the field but that’s because he hasn’t shot a single three all year.
#9 Pascal Siakam, F Toronto Raptors
Siakam is quickly becoming a recognized name amongst NBA fans. He’s a little buried on the Raptors roster behind All-Stars (Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry) and veterans (Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka), but Siakam has taken a huge jump in his third NBA season. While playing second fiddle in scoring to Leonard, Siakam has averaged 16.4 points, 2.9 assists, and seven rebounds per game while shooting .548 percent from the field and .370 percent from three. I want to see if he can get close to the 20 ppg mark next season, cause that might seal the deal.
#8 Tobias Harris, F Philadelphia 76ers
At 26 years old, Harris is already on his fifth NBA team. Usually, that means something is wrong, but it’s just this opposite this time around. Harris has worked his shooting percentage, three-point percentage, points, rebounds, and assist numbers up over time and is now bordering on All-Star territory. He’s playing on a crowded 76ers team which might tank his chances as they did with Jimmy Butler this year, but Harris has to be in the All-Star conversation moving forward. He’s averaging 20.9 points, 2.7 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game this season.
#7 Donovan Mitchell, G Utah Jazz
Mitchell had a slow start to the season, but on the whole, his numbers have returned to about where they were last season. We’ve seen how explosive and athletic Mitchell can be, but he has to find a way to increase his field goal percentage. Right now he’s shooting .424 from the field and .336 from three. His production would be through the roof if he could hit .450 of his total shots. He’s also averaging 23.5 points, 4.1 assists, four rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game as it is.
#6 Zach LaVine, G Chicago Bulls
I’m going to keep pounding my fist until it happens. Despite playing through injuries early in his career, LaVine has constantly been improving. In his first healthy season with the Bulls, LaVine has caught fire. He’s averaging 23.8 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game. He’s on pace to set a personal best in field goal percentage, .468, as he continues to refine his offensive game. In the Eastern Conference, LaVine will have a perfect chance to compete with Bradley Beal, D’Angelo Russell, and Kemba Walker for future All-Star selections.
#5 Jayson Tatum, F Boston Celtics
Tatum is currently limited by the team around him which is stocked with talent and players who are looking to get their fair share of shots up. The team is almost too talented and that prevents Tatum from showing us his full potential. He’s averaging 16.1 points, 1.9 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game this season, but those numbers could take a huge leap if Kyrie Irving leaves in free agency. For a player of his size though, Tatum is smooth and has great movement. He just needs to get in a rhythm more often.
#4 Trae Young, G Atlanta Hawks
Yeah, I was one of those guys who jumped on Young early on in the year when he was playing terribly, but it looks like he just needed to get adjusted to the league. After that somewhat questionable start where his shooting was atrocious, Young has rebounded nicely and is now averaging 18.4 points, 7.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Now he just has to bring up his field goal percentage (.411) and three-point percentage (.333) to become a lethal threat.
#3 De’Aaron Fox, G Sacramento Kings
While he’s far from a finished product, Fox has shown just how versatile and electric he can be this season. After an underwhelming rookie campaign, Fox’s numbers are up across the boards. The Kentucky product is averaging 17.4 points, 7.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. Ideally, you’d like to see him scoring a little more, but he is shooting .370 percent from three and .462 percent overall, which is very good for a second-year player. I’m excited to see what Fox’s next step will be.
#2 Devin Booker, G Phoenix Suns
The Western Conference is loaded with guards, it’s almost unfair. Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, and a host of other All-Star hopefuls will make it hard for Booker to break through. Still, the fourth-year pro is averaging 24.9 points, 6.6 assists, and four rebounds per game. The question now is whether or not he can actually get the Suns to the postseason, or at least a winning record. Now that would be All-Star worthy.
#1 Luka Doncic, F Dallas Mavericks
He might not be the most athletic player around but Doncic already has an All-Star’s repertoire of skills and shots. It’s really hard to block a guy who is 6-7 and shooting stepback threes. Doncic has brought some life to the near lifeless Mavericks and will become the team’s most beloved player when Dirk Nowitzki retires at the end of this season. So far the Slovenian star has averaged 21.1 points, 5.6 assists. 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. He and Trae Young will vie for Rookie of the Year honors.
The Kings are loaded with players who could be future All-Stars. Buddy Hield is the first guy off of my list and I really think you could argue he deserves a spot over several guys. He is putting up 21 ppg on .438 percent from three. Marvin Bagley deserves some props as well even though he’s missed some time as of late. He can be an All-Star if he starts hitting more threes.
Gobert was close to not making the list. I almost gave his spot to Clint Capela from the Rockets or Lauri Markkanen from the Bulls, but I went with Gobert because of his defense. It was hard to leave CJ McCollum off of the list but I went in favor of younger guards who are posting better scoring numbers, which is basically the only reason why McCollum would be an All-Star in the first place. I also looked at Jamal Murray, but there were already so many Western guards on the list and I liked McCollum more than him anyway. Plus, Murray has inferior numbers for now.
I also briefly looked at Montrezl Harrell on the Los Angeles Clippers but I think he needs to show a little more in terms of rebounds before he qualifies. Staying in LA, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma have a lot of potential, if they find ways to work in harmony with LeBron James. Special shout out to Mike Conley for always being overlooked and somehow never making an All-Star game despite scoring 20 ppg. I blame the Grizzlies.