The Golden State Warriors had three All-Stars in Cleveland for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game — more than any other team — and in hindsight, that seems appropriate. They ended the season hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy, so it only seems right that they are the team most heavily represented in the mid-season spectacle.
They will also be represented this year. Maybe with three players again. Probably with less. But possibly with more.
So who’s in and who’s out? Realistically, the Warriors have five All-Star candidates. Let’s see what their chances are of playing in the February exhibition.
As a reminder, the All-Star game has two starters in the backcourt and five starters in the frontcourt. The bank contains two players in the backcourt, three players in the frontcourt and two wild cards.
Notable backcourt players to compete with in the West: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Ja Morant, Luka Dončić, Jamal Murray, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, CJ McCollum, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, De’Aaron Fox, Damian Lillard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Green.
Well-known front-court players to compete with in the West: Deandre Ayton, Nikola Jokić, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Jusuf Nurkić.
Let’s get into it now, in order of probability.
Steph Curry — 95%
Will Steph Curry be an All-Star this year?
Curry finished the 2021-22 season as the best guard in the NBA. He will enter the 2022-2023 season as the best guard in the NBA. He is a global superstar, one of the best basketball players in the world and one of the most popular players in NBA history.
If injuries keep him off the field, he may not make the All-Star Game. Otherwise he’s in. It’s not complicated.
Klay Thompson – 50%
Will Klay Thompson be an All-Star this year?
I don’t expect Thompson to be the second best Warriors player next year. I still think Green will hold that label.
But Klay has a few things that work in his favor, namely the story. With what Thompson has had to overcome after back-to-back injuries to his ACL and Achilles tendon, the basketball world will celebrate his return to the court. And after playing a key role in the NBA Finals, the “He’s Back!” story is in full swing as the season starts. If Klay averages 20 points per game for a good Warriors team while shooting 40% from outside the arc, he has the inside track.
It helps that the back lane isn’t as stacked as the front lane in the West, even though there are fewer spots to compete for. And it helps that players are often rewarded for helping them win a title in the next season.
And of course it helps that Klay is a really good player who has been an All-Star in each of the last five seasons he’s been healthy.
Draymond Green — 30%
Will Draymond Green be an All-Star this year?
If the Warriors hadn’t won the title last year, Green’s chances of making it to the All-Star Game in 2023 would be very low. But the Dubs who won it all reinforced the understanding that he is a special player who can defend all by himself.
Dray always faces an uphill battle for the All-Star Game. But if he – and the Warriors – play as well as last year, he has a chance. But my god, the frontcourt is piled up in the west.
Andrew Wiggins – 10%
Will Andrew Wiggins become an All-Star this year?
Wiggins’ breakthrough in the 2021-22 season, in which he was not only named an All-Star for the first time, but also an All-Star starter, is helping and hurting his cause this year. It helps him because it sets the bar for Wiggins as an All-Star… something that bolsters his elite defensive show against Jayson Tatum in the NBA Finals. But it hurts him because, for lack of a better sentence, he’s got rid of his selection. He won’t get the token “well he deserves it and he never got it” vote.
He will also be hurt by the return of Thompson. That pushes Wiggins up a notch in the Warriors hierarchy, and will probably stifle his score output a bit too. Add to that the sheer amount of talent in the western frontcourt, and it’s hard to see Wiggins repeating his All-Star status without a lot of stuff coming his way.
But he’s an All-Star know. That’s his reputation. That’s his family tree. And voters will seek and reward that.
Jordan Poole — 2%
Will Jordan Poole be an All-Star this year?
I wouldn’t be surprised if Poole plays as one of the top 12 or 15 best players in the Western Conference this year, but he’ll need more to earn an All-Star roster. Poole will be a banker to start the year, and bankers just won’t make it to the All-Star Game. He needs an injury to get him into the lineup, and then he has to excel there.
Honestly, Poole’s biggest shot at making it to the All-Star Game is if Curry misses an extended piece, and JP helps the team stay afloat in Curry’s absence. I sure hope that doesn’t happen, but a Poole All-Star look would be a unique silver liner.
What do you think, Dub Nation?