NBA Draft 2018: 5 prospects with All-Star potential

Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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There are plenty of talented rookies in this year’s NBA Draft class. But who among them has the potential to make an All-Star team?

Only two rookies have been All-Stars this century.

LeBron didn’t make the cut, nor did Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, or Russell Westbrook. It took James Harden four seasons, Steph Curry five, and Kyle Lowry nine seasons before each made his first All-Star appearance.

Blake Griffin (in 2011) and Yao Ming (in 2003) were the last first-year players to be named All-Stars. And as unlikely and uncommon as it may have been at the time for Yao and Griffin, it would be exponentially more difficult in today’s NBA. The league, as it’s currently constructed, is arguably as deep as it has ever been. Between emerging young players fighting to be the next All-Star additions and the crop of 10-15 stars still in their primes, there is more talent now than there has been at any point in my lifetime.

I don’t expect to be proven right or wrong by anyone on this list immediately, but within the next three to five seasons, I’d be surprised if at least a few of these players weren’t playing Sunday night on All-Star weekend.

I could very easily change my mind on any of these players as soon as their names are called on draft night, depending on the teams that select them. Without having that piece of info, I’m going solely on potential and hoping none of these guys end up in Brooklyn or Orlando.

We’ll see what happens in June, but for now, here are the five players, in no particular order, that I see as having as much All-Star potential as anyone in the 2018 class.