EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Suns’ Devin Booker not in top 10 of initial NBA All-Star fan voting returns

Jan 4, 2024, 2:04 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 8:14 am

The annual popularity contest of the NBA All-Star Game fan voting has begun. In Phoenix, it begins the yearly ritual of understanding the popularity of some less-than-deserving potential All-Stars compared to Suns guard Devin Booker.

Booker is not in the top 10 of Western Conference guards. It could be that the Suns are underwhelming at 18-16 as of Thursday, but teammate Kevin Durant is fourth overall and second among Western Conference frontcourt players with 1,807,394 fan votes.

Durant ranks fifth in the NBA at 29.9 points per game and is tacking on 6.3 boards and 6.0 assists a night while shooting a ridiculous 53% overall and 48% from three. And the 35-year-old has appeared in 28 games, too.

Back to Booker: He’s averaging 26.7 points, a career-high 7.8 assists and a career-high 5.2 rebounds while shooting a career-high 39% from three in 25 appearances so far.

It’s pretty good stuff considering he’s taking on more on-ball duties and a heavier defensive workload than past seasons.

Let’s quickly run down the list of All-Star guards ahead of Booker.

1. Luka Doncic, Mavericks — Yes, he’s very good.

2. Stephen Curry, Warriors — Yes, he’s very good.

3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder — A true menace who is no longer the most underrated player in the NBA.

4. James Harden, Clippers — He’s been … fine? But he’s averaging 17.7 points and 8.1 assists. Even with good shooting clips, it’s meh.

5. Kyrie Irving, Mavericks — The numbers are down (22.8 points and 5.1 assists per game) but the resume is there. I get it.

6. Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves — He’s doing the thing for the No. 1 team in the West.

7. Ja Morant, Grizzlies — Yes, but he missed 25 games due to suspension for *Jonathan Gannon pew-pew sounds here*.

8. De’Aaron Fox, Kings — Fox has taken it to another level, pushing the scoring to 29 points per game while hitting at a career-high 39% from three on 8.7 whole attempts per game. Remember when we worried about his shot coming out of Kentucky?

9. Klay Thompson, Warriors — The man just admitted he had a deep conversation with coach Steve Kerr about “enjoying his last chapter” and not pressing to be his old self. So I would go with a “no.”

10. Austin Reaves, Lakers — Reeves has started just 10 of 35 games. He’s on track for career-high averages but underwhelming ones (15.3 points, 5.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds per game).

2024 NBA All-Star Game fan voting – First returns

What’s the NBA All-Star Game format in 2024?

The NBA is going back to an East-West format and away from the All-Star format that included two team captains and a draft to determine teams.

The Feb. 20 All-Star game will consist of a 50% fan vote, with current players and media accounting for 25% of the vote each.

The players will be ranked by position (guard and frontcourt), and the average of the weighted rank from the three buckets (fans, media and players) will determine the two starting guards and three starting forwards for each conference.

How can fans vote?

Suns fans can vote with an NBA ID at Suns.com/AllStar. Voting on Friday, Jan. 12, Jan. 15 and Jan. 19 will count as a three-for-one tally.

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