2011 All-Star Game: How Does Free Agent Movement Affect Who Goes?

Bhemis ParksAnalyst IAugust 21, 2010

2011 All-Star Game: How Does Free Agent Movement Affect Who Goes?

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    With all the offseason movement this summer, a lot will look different this upcoming season. One of the biggest and most noticeable will be the new faces who might appear in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.

    The biggest differences will likely take place out West. With players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer now residing on Eastern Conference teams, a few frontcourt positions have opened up.

    But most importantly is how the moves affected the power rankings of the teams in each conference. A couple teams that made the Western playoffs could end up dropping out of the playoffs altogether, whereas a few teams that made the playoffs in the East last season actually improved drastically.

    Reason why I mentioned the teams and how they presumably rose and dropped is because winning comes into the equation of selecting who does and doesn’t make the All-Star Game.

    For example, Amar’e leaving Phoenix and the likelihood of the Suns dropping in the standings could knock a player like Steve Nash out of contention for a roster selection, whereas a player like Russell Westbrook could be in a great position if the Thunder get off to a quick start like expected.

    Andrew Bynum might steal a roster berth if he gets off to a fast start, but then again, Yao Ming is back and will be the starting the season and Tim Duncan will get selected by the coaches regardless of what kind of season he is having.

    In the East, Amar’e could find himself left off the roster if the Knicks don’t win early and often. Yet a player like Joakim Noah or Andrew Bogut could find himself on it if their teams improve on last season’s success.

    Chris Bosh might miss the game if he isn’t voted in by the fans and it’ll be interesting to see how many fans don’t vote for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

    All in all, I expect to see more than a handful of new faces at the game this season.

    Here’s my picks of the players with the best shot at making it at each position.

5. Center

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    With a certain Chinese center back healthy, the starting centers for both conferences are basically a lock. Expect Dwight Howard and Yao Ming to get voted in by the fans.

    Where the trouble starts is how players are labeled by the selecting committee. Will Pau Gasol be labeled a center or a forward? Same with Chris Bosh of the Heat and Tim Duncan of the Spurs, both might get labeled at positions they don’t play. Tim Duncan is a center and Chris Bosh is a power forward.

    Tim Duncan might get listed as a power forward and get voted in, but Chris Bosh might get labeled a center and have to hope that the coaches vote him in.

    Players like Al Horford, David Lee, Chris Kaman, and Amar’e Stoudemire are going to have a difficult time making it back to this season’s game. With that said, here’s a look at my frontrunners.

    Eastern Conference

    1. Dwight Howard
    2. Andrew Bogut
    3. Amar’e Stoudemire
    4. Brook Lopez
    5. Joakim Noah
    6. Al Horford

    Western Conference

    1. Yao Ming
    2. Tim Duncan
    3. Marc Gasol
    4. Chris Kaman
    5. Andrew Bynum
    6. Tyson Chandler


    1. JaVale McGee
    2. Roy Hibbert
    3. Marcus Camby
    4. Nene Hilario
    5. Elton Brand
    6. Emeke Okafor

4. Power Forward

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    With Amar’e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer moving out of the West, the future is bright for young guys looking to get a selection. The same cannot be said for the young pups in the East. They are now faced with the past dilemma of the Western Conference hopefuls.

    The starters for each conference will likely be Chris Bosh and Dirk Nowitzki. However, the Pau Gasol fanbase is growing due to his two championships, and Carlos Boozer just acquired a ton of new fans by signing up with the Bulls this summer.

    Kevin Garnett and Zack Randolph will find their chances of repeating as All-Stars to be slim to none this season. And all the young forwards set to have breakout years will have a lot to say about it.

    Here’s who my frontrunners are...

    Eastern Conference

    1. Chris Bosh
    2. Carlos Boozer
    3. Josh Smith
    4. Kevin Garnett
    5. Andray Blatche
    6. Drew Gooden

    Western Conference

    1. Dirk Nowitzki
    2. Pau Gasol
    3. Al Jefferson
    4. Zack Randolph
    5. David Lee
    6. LaMarcus Aldridge


    1. David West
    2. Luis Scola
    3. J.J. Hickson
    4. Michael Beasley
    5. Anthony Randolph
    6. Troy Murphy

3. Small Forward

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    The starting position is a lock for the next five to six years, if not longer. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will have a chokehold on these positions until the next big thing comes along.

    The only small forward with a shot at starting is Carmelo Anthony. However, he’ll need to move to a team with a larger market. Paul Pierce may have played his last All-Star Game this past season.

    The league does have a few young guys at the position who will make a name for themselves in the upcoming years. Players like Danny Granger and Rudy Gay will be future fixtures on All-Star teams should their respective teams ever start winning.

    With that said, my frontrunners are as read…

    Eastern Conference

    1. LeBron James
    2. Danny Granger
    3. Andre Igoudala
    4. Gerald Wallace
    5. Paul Pierce
    6. Antawn Jamison

    Western Conference

    1. Kevin Durant
    2. Carmelo Anthony
    3. Rudy Gay
    4. Caron Butler
    5. Ron Artest
    6. Hedo Turkoglu


    1. Terrance Williams
    2. Rashard Lewis
    3. Loul Deng
    4. Richard Jefferson
    5. Trevor Ariza
    6. Marvin Williams

2. Shooting Guard

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    Another position that is locked up for the next three to four seasons is the shooting guard spot. Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant will be voted in until their legs fall off or their teams become irrelevant.

    The talents of this position are deeper in the Western Conference. But the Eastern Conference isn’t anything to laugh at either.

    I expect the same four guys to be selected again this season. So anyone wishing to bump one of them out will have to have one spectacular first half to the season.

    With that said, here’s a look at who the likely guys are.

    Eastern Conference

    1. Dwyane Wade
    2. Joe Johnson
    3. John Salmons
    4. Stephen Jackson
    5. Vince Carter
    6. Gilbert Arenas

    Western Conference

    1. Kobe Bryant
    2. Brandon Roy
    3. Tyreke Evans
    4. Monta Ellis
    5. Manu Ginobli
    6. Jason Richardson


    1. O.J. Mayo
    2. Ray Allen
    3. Kevin Martin
    4. Richard Hamilton
    5. DeMar DeRozan
    6. Eric Gordan

1. Point Guard

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    The point guard position is the deepest in the NBA. Every year, two to five deserving players get left off an All-Star team. This year, the number stands to grow even larger.

    There are four players that are shaping up to be virtual locks for the next half-decade. Those players are Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo.

    The older guys' reign of terror may be over and a few of the young guys will have a lot of work to do before they make a team. However, as many as four players who have never been will be knocking on the door.

    Here are the top guys to watch for.

    Eastern Conference

    1. Derrick Rose
    2. Rajon Rondo
    3. Devin Harris
    4. Darren Collison
    5. Brandon Jennings
    6. Jameer Nelson

    Western Conference

    1. Chris Paul
    2. Deron Williams
    3. Russell Westbrook
    4. Stephon Curry
    5. Jason Kidd
    6. Chauncey Billups


    1. Steve Nash
    2. Tony Parker
    3. Jrue Holiday
    4. Aaron Brooks
    5. Baron Davis
    6. Raymond Felton

In Conclusion

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    I wonder if anyone has relayed to Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony about how a move to the East could hurt their future prospects.

    All in all, this year’s game should be very exciting. It will display some of the best individual talent of the past decade or so.

    I'm sure you can’t wait to see who EARNS a spot…now if only we can get Kobe to stop cheating during these games.

    Must read before you go... (Click Me)

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