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Who owns the biggest chances at making their all-star debut in February?

karl-anthony towns hassan whiteside

The NBA hosts the All-Star Weekend every February where its brightest stars showcase their talents in a variety of contests culminated by the All-Star Game.

The starters are selected through fan votes, while the reserves, on the other hand, are picked by coaches from their respective conferences. This is where a player’s actual performance and his team’s standing for the first half of the season come into the equation.

Being an all-star gives the player an opportunity to elevate his stock drastically. From bigger contracts, hitting specific incentives, and more endorsements in the future, all these become within reach for them.

But due to a limited number of roster spots open for the mid-year showcase, as well as the number of players in the same position, there are some who won’t make it to the team despite their strong play. Each year, fans debate on who really deserves to play among the best the NBA has, but ultimately, the fans and coaches decide.

After all the offseason moves, so far, have been considered, here’s a look at three players each from the Eastern and Western Conference who are expected to have a breakout year and most likely become an all-star for the first time in their careers.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Hassan Whiteside

hassan whiteside

Robert Duyos/USA TODAY Sports

After no one showed interest in him less than two years ago, the Miami Heat gave the 7-foot center a chance to resurrect his career, and he did not disappoint.

Whiteside debuted for the Heat during the second half of the 2014-2015 season and made a good account of himself. Last season, the Marshall product validated his status as one of the top centers in the league, averaging 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and a league-leading 3.7 blocks per game. He was also in the conversation for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

With Dwyane Wade choosing to play for his home team, the Chicago Bulls, and the exit of Chris Bosh, the 33rd overall pick of the 2010 draft is expected to lead the new-look Heat squad on both ends of the floor.

One thing that may also help his case to be named an all-star is the lack of traditional big men in the league these days. Given his style of play and the situation he’s in, it will be no surprise if he ends up having an even better season than last year, and eventually make it to the game in New Orleans come February.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

giannis antetokounmpo

Aaron Gash/AP

Fans have already seen a glimpse of how good the “Greek Freak” can be with his crazy wingspan and handles in the past two seasons. His development has gone ahead of plan and under the tutelage of Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, the 6-foot-11 athlete is being groomed to be a full-time point guard.

If everything goes according to plan, he’ll become the tallest point guard in the league, giving match-up problems to opponents on a nightly basis. The 21-year-old has the rare combination of speed, height, and skills to be successful at his position. Should Giannis Antetokounmpo dominate at the one spot, he’d make a very strong case for himself to become an all-star, but that doesn’t end there, he may also be considered by fans for a starting spot.

Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal

Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

The sweet-shooting Beal re-signed for a very lucrative contract with the Washington Wizards this off-season. Now that the team has proven its commitment, the ball is now on his court to show everyone that he deserves his hefty wage.

Despite the reported feud he might have with backcourt mate John Wall, the two continued to be vocal that there is nothing personal with their disagreements and that they are only brought about by their competitiveness inside the court.

With impressive numbers of 17.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game last season, the Florida product will look to build on the momentum he gained last year and improve his game even more in hopes of possibly joining Wall in the all-star team.

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