The 2019 NBA All-Star Game may feature a handful of first-timers, as diminishing production or injuries will sideline some regular fixtures.
In 2018, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love and Kristaps Porzingis were all selected for the All-Star Game. That won’t be the case in 2019, as injuries have sidelined them for most or all of the season to date. The same goes for Goran Dragic, who’s expected to be out until February after he underwent knee surgery, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Draymond Green, who’s made the All-Star Game in each of the past three seasons, likewise doesn’t figure to be joining his fellow All-Stars in Charlotte. He’s been an outright disaster on offense, and his Golden State Warriors aren’t steamrolling the Western Conference like they have in years past.
With 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony in NBA purgatory and nine-time All-Star Chris Paul out with a balky left hamstring, a number of All-Star mainstays could be left at home this season. A handful of first-timers may wind up taking their place.
The competition for All-Star spots among Western Conference players is fiercer than ever, but the East has plenty of talent jostling for nods as well. It won’t be easy for anyone to make their All-Star Game debut this season, but someone is bound to follow in the footsteps of Victor Oladipo, Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns from last season.
Which players could earn their first-ever All-Star nod? The following eight players should at least be in the conversation.