Five players poised to become first-time NBA All-Stars in 2023, including Anthony Edwards and Jalen Brunson

Last season, five players — Ja Morant, Darius Garland, Fred VanVleet, Dejounte Murray and Andrew Wiggins — reached their careers a major milestone as they were named to their first All-Star team.

Being an All-Star is a big deal. It represents a huge leap in status and may also have financial benefits for players. This season, several players are poised to become first-time All-Stars. Below are the five most likely candidates.

1. Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves

After averaging more than 20 points per game in the first two seasons of his young career, Edwards appeared to be on the verge of superstardom. He’s got All-Star charisma, and he’s got blooms to match. Last season, Edwards became the youngest player in NBA history to make 10 3-pointers in a game — a feat he accomplished in December against the Nuggets.

Edwards is also the perpetrator of some of the most vicious poster dunks the league has seen over the past two seasons.

At 21 years old, Edwards is already a qualified third-level scorer, and he still has a lot of room to grow. From rookie to sophomore season, his numbers grew across the board. If he follows the same trend this season, it’s going to be hard to keep him out of the All-Star lineup even in the talented Western Conference, and it sounds like he’s really trying to get there.

“I’ve been working on it, man,” Edwards said of his offseason recently via The Athletic. “Just getting better. I’m trying to make that leap and be the best player I can be. Do what we can to lead my team…I feel like I’m working really hard, more than I can be. Work hard” has worked before. I am happy with the results so far. I’m excited to see how it turns out on the field. “

2. Jalen Brunson, Knicks

Jalen Brunson has had a great four years playing alongside Luka Doncic in Dallas. He started 61 of 79 games for the Mavericks last season, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds. Those numbers are sure to be solid, but his performance in Dallas will always have a ceiling next to a ball-handling guard like Doncic. Now in New York, things will be different, as Brunson will have a chance to escape Doncic’s proverbial shadow.

Brunson is expected to be the Knicks’ main guard next season (given that he signed a hefty four-year deal with the team in the summer). With this distinction comes increased accountability and, quite possibly, a major breakthrough in production. For one, Brunson likely won’t make 18 appearances off the bench like he did last season — and has done so throughout his career — so he’ll have a more consistent chance of starting a working game early, possibly There are also more defined roles, which might be beneficial. Also, after paying him over $100 million, the Knicks will be looking for him to be very confident. As a result, he’ll likely exceed his career-high 12.8 attempts per game last season, and he’ll be creating more of the ball in his hands.

Brunson should easily hit career highs in assists and points per game this season, and such a high production could make him a first-time All-Star.

3. Tyrese Maxey, 76ers

Tyrese Maxey was a revelation for the Sixers last season. After inconsistent minutes in his rookie season, Maxey took over as the starting point guard in the absence of Ben Simmons last season, and he never looked back — even after James Harden was added to the roster. His numbers swelled with his role, and he quickly established himself as an integral part of Philadelphia’s offense. His importance to the Sixers came through in the playoffs.

From his first season to his second, Maxi’s scoring average jumped from 8 to 17.5 and his assists doubled from 2 to 4.3. Most impressively, his 3-point percentage shot up from 30 percent as a rookie to 42 percent last season. That improvement helped cement him as a terrific addition to All-Star center Joel Embiid, and his ability on and off the court should go a long way in helping him move forward with Harden in Philadelphia’s backcourt. Maxey has an indomitable work ethic, and if he continues to develop, he will likely make multiple All-Star teams in the future.

4. Colin Sexton, Sir

Sexton may not have been the most obvious choice at first, but after being traded from the Cavaliers to the Jazz — and immediately agreeing to a new, fully guaranteed four-year deal — he could be in for a major rebound season . Last year, Sexton played just 11 games after tearing his meniscus in November. During his time on the sideline, he became a forgotten man in Cleveland, largely due to the simultaneous presence of All-Star guard Darius Garland.

The year before that, though, Sexton was averaging over 24 points and four assists per game and was widely regarded as one of the league’s most promising young players. In Utah, Sexton should once again have a chance to deliver at a high level for a Jazz team that is now in the midst of a rebuild. The team might not be great, but if Sexton plays well enough individually, maybe he’ll get All-Star recognition.

5. Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers

After a good start to his career in Sacramento, Haliburton’s numbers have improved since he was traded from the Kings to the Pacers midway through last season. In 26 games with Indiana, he averaged 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals. They call it filling out a stat sheet. Now, after spending the entire offseason and training camp with his new team, the 22-year-old Haliburton may be ready to take another step forward.

On a Pacers team that will rely heavily on his performance, there’s no reason to think Haliburton can’t come close to averaging 20 points and 10 assists a night. Doing that and being an All-Star are two personal goals of Haliburton’s upcoming campaign.

“I want to be a 20- and 10-year-old, and I want to be an All-Star,” he said recently via Basketball News. “Those are two achievable personal goals for me.”

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