DeMar DeRozan could be on track for another All-Star designation as early fan voting places him in the top echelon of players in the Eastern Conference.
A selection would mark DeRozan’s fifth appearance at an NBA All-Star Game, which will be hosted this year in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19.
Before he was sidelined this week with a right quad strain, DeRozan averaged 26.1 points, 5 rebounds, 4.9 assists per game. That’s a minute drop from his All-Star debut with the Bulls last season, when he averaged 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists. There were other intangibles at play amid last year’s voting — DeRozan’s back-to-back buzzer beater game-winners to start January, the fact that the Bulls were sitting atop the conference.
An odd wrinkle to DeRozan’s annual All-Star campaign is the classification of position he’s forced into. While DeRozan might not fit into the big man frontcourt grouping alongside players like Nikola Jokić and Joel Embiid, it’s also inarguable that he also doesn’t play as a guard.
This difficulty to find a grouping for DeRozan reflects the increasingly positionless nature of modern basketball. But it also adds to a slight uphill battle for an All-Star spot as he attempts to leapfrog point guards like Trae Young, who is currently edging him out by a margin of 288,228 votes.
Fan voting accounts for 50% of the All-Star selection process. A media panel will provide 25% of the votes and current players get the remaining votes. Given DeRozan’s standing among his fellow players, this part of the selection process should fall in his favor.
Another familiar face in Chicago is also attempting to earn a spot on the All-Star team — Derrick Rose, who currently sits ninth overall in All-Star fan voting.
1. Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn): 3,024,833
2. Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland): 2,725,558
3. James Harden (Philadelphia): 1,571,039
4. Jaylen Brown (Boston): 1,512,332
5. Trae Young (Atlanta): 1,123,345
6. DeMar DeRozan (Chicago): 835,117
7. LaMelo Ball (Charlotte): 445,696
8. Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana): 428,113
9. Derrick Rose (New York Knicks): 298,100
10. Darius Garland (Cleveland): 226,517
Fan voting closes on Jan. 21.