Well, the NBA All-Star game ballot came out this week and without a doubt Kobe Bryant will be voted into a starting spot before he’s even played a game, showing just how ridiculous some fans can be. If you couldn’t tell, my heading is meant to be sarcastic. (It’s about time someone invented a sarcasm font)
I thought it would be a fun exercise to name the early season fantasy All-Stars, based on if I was to fill out my ballot now. I’ll revisit this during the season and also name an All-Star team around the actual All-Star game, but without further ado, here is the ridiculously early NBA Fantasy All-Star ballot.
Kyle Korver, SG, Atlanta Hawks
13.1 points, 2.7 threes, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, 54.5 FG%, 90.9 FT%, 1.9 turnovers
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
17.4 points, 1.9 threes, 5.4 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2.6 steals, 0.8 blocks, 38.9 FG%, 70.3 FT%, 3 turnovers
There is no chance these two get voted in as the Eastern Conference starting backcourt in the NBA, but for fantasy purposes they have been the best two performing guards so far this season. And they are both players you most likely would’ve drafted in the 100’s. Korver is currently the 18th ranked player, MCW is the 23rd, and he just snuck into his spot ahead of Arron Afflalo, who is playing lights out as well. I have been very high on Korver since the preseason and will continue to be, and I think he should be someone you target to get on your teams all year. MCW has been a surprise, but we all knew the minutes would be there and it appears that the Sixers system is a fantasy goldmine. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both of these guys made it into the Fantasy All-Star team by the time February rolls around.
Usual suspects Derrick Rose, Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving have been disappointing to say the least, whereas bigger names like John Wall and Dwyane Wade just, quite frankly, haven’t been as good as this unheralded duo
Paul George, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers
24.6 points, 2.6 threes, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 48.7 FG%, 84.6 FT%, 2.8 turnovers
Brook Lopez, C, Brooklyn Nets
20.5 points, 0 threes, 6.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.8 blocks, 57.4 FG%, 83.3 FT%, 1.8 turnovers
Al Horford, PF/C, Atlanta Hawks
19.4 points, 0.1 threes, 9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 2.1 blocks, 55.1 FG%, 66.7 FT%, 2.4 turnovers
Although it was hard to leave LeBron James off the ballot, his high turnovers and low steals and blocks, pushed marginally behind Horford for the final starting spot. I’m sure by the time we reach February, he will have well truly cemented himself in the starting lineup. George (5), Lopez (9) and Horford (11) are having truly fantastic starts to the year in the rankings, but both George and Horford were projected in the top 20. Lopez has jumped from his pre-draft ranking and he truly established himself as the Nets best offensive option, whilst also providing a good source of blocks.
Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
20.4 points, 0.8 threes, 4.6 rebounds, 12.8 assists, 2.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, 44.7 FG%, 96.7 FT%, 3.6 turnovers
Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors
20.4 points, 3.3 threes, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1 steal, 0.8 blocks, 54.3 FG%, 87.5 FT%, 0.9 turnovers
No-one could argue about the inclusion of Chris Paul in the starting lineup, except maybe delusional Lakers fans who would put Kobe in and point to his better turnover numbers as the reason. Thompson (ranked 6) narrowly pipped his teammate Stephen Curry (7) for the starting nod, mainly due to his superior FG% and block numbers, but you couldn’t go wrong with either player. If you are getting 40 points and 7 threes a game from your starting backcourt, as the Warriors are, you must be sitting pretty. Thompson is putting himself into the conversation for best pure shooter in the NBA and his breakout, in this his third year, is real.
Anthony Davis, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans
21.8 points, 0 threes, 11.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.1 steals, 3.1 blocks, 48.3 FG%, 87.1 FT%, 1.3 turnovers
Kevin Love, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
27.2 points, 2.3 threes, 13.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 48.4 FG%, 84.8 FT%, 2.3 turnovers
Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
29.3 points, 1.6 threes, 7.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 46.0 FG%, 88.6 FT%
Nary a surprise here in the Western Conference frontcourt as Durant, Love and Davis comprise three of the top four fantasy players of the year. These guys are having truly magnificent seasons, with Love bouncing back from his injury plagued 2012-2013 season, Davis exploding in his sophomore campaign and Durant keeping up the form that has seen him as the number one fantasy player over the past few seasons. If you have these guys, you don’t trade them. That is all