Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Minnesota Timberwolves fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts
For the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, fans were asked “which potential first-time NBA All-Stars are most deserving?” Well, the results have been tallied, and while this week’s winner should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the NBA this season, the runner-ups are definitely... interesting:
Not only should Ja Morant make his first NBA All-Star appearance, he’s making a strong case to be included on an All-NBA Team as well as being in the MVP discussion. The 22-year old PG has been absolutely sensational this season, fueling the Grizzlies current 10-game winning streak and vaulting Memphis to a 29-14 record in the Western Conference. There’s no doubt we will see Morant suiting up when the NBA All-Star game comes to Cleveland next month, and deservedly so.
With that said, it’s a little head-scratching (at least in my opinion) to see some of the other players who received votes and NOT see Anthony Edwards name on the list above. The likelihood of the Minnesota Timberwolves getting more than one All-Star in the Western Conference this season is extremely small, so those honors will undoubtedly go to Karl-Anthony Towns, who is putting together another strong statistical season (and finally pairing those stats with nearly as many wins as losses).
But the survey question here was about first time All-Stars, and I’m not sure there are five more deserving first-timers than Anthony Edwards. ANT has clearly taken a leap in his sophomore season (albeit a smaller one than some of us had hoped for), and his per 36 numbers are up in essentially every major category. On top of that (and much like KAT), his team is finally winning games, which has historically been an important metric for deciding which players ultimately get selected to the All-Star rosters.
In the end, getting overly worked up about NBA honors like All-Star selections and All-NBA teams is probably not a healthy life choice. However, when you consider how often people cite these types of things when debating and ranking various players, it’s at least worth discussing when results like this are presented to you. Teams like the Hornets, Cavaliers, and Raptors have all had great seasons as well, but none of those teams (as we currently sit here in the middle of January) are head and shoulders above the Timberwolves (at least in the standings), so it is somewhat surprising to see players from those other teams get more public praise than a guy like Anthony Edwards is currently getting.
(So much for the media hyping up the Timberwolves, huh?)