The holiday season has ended, trade season is upon us, and the 2024 NBA All-Star Game will be here before we know it. This season, the All-Star Game will be hosted by the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, which was supposed to host all of the All-Star festivities that got canceled in 2021 as a result of the pandemic.

While the NBA All-Star Game Draft has been the main story in previous years, this season's All-Star Game will be taking a more traditional approach. For the first time since the 2016-17 season, the Eastern Conference's best will face off against the Western Conference's best. Other changes include going back to the normal fourth-quarter format, something that had been tinkered with by the league in recent years during the All-Star Game by having a target score for teams to reach.

Essentially, the league is going back to what worked and what everyone loved pertaining to All-Star Weekend.

Commissioner Adam Silver could potentially add a spot or two to the event, but the format for the teams remains the same: 12 players from each conference with fans allowed to vote through Jan. 20. The fan vote accounts for 50 percent, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each.

Familiar faces such as LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, and Joel Embiid are basically guaranteed a spot in the All-Star Game. However, new and young faces of the league will earn All-Star honors for the first time in their career this season. One of these players will be New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, who probably should have earned this honor last season over several other players.

Brunson has been spectacular this season for the Knicks, averaging a new career-high 25.6 points per game, and has been one of the best scoring guards in the NBA all season long. Brunson should undoubtedly be heading to Indianapolis in February.

Who else will join Brunson in the journey to this season's All-Star Game? Here's a look at ClutchPoints' early predictions for who will be representing the Eastern and Western Conferences this year.

Eastern Conference All-Star predictions

Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brunson, Tyrese Haliburton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid representing the East All-Stars

Starters: G Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), G Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks), F Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), F Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), C Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)

Reserves: G Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), G Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers), F Julius Randle (New York Knicks), C Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), F Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic), G Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers), G Damian Lillard (Milwaukee Bucks)

Jalen Brunson not being named an All-Star last season was perhaps the biggest All-Star snub in NBA history. To say that Brunson was not one of the best guards in the league at the time of the 2023 NBA All-Star Game is a complete joke because he was amongst the league leaders in scoring for backcourt players. It just goes to show that All-Star voting is flawed if a player of his caliber is not selected.

This year, Brunson will not only make his first All-Star Game, but he should be a starter. The Knicks starting point guard ranks seventh out of all Eastern Conference players in scoring and is shooting 43.1 percent from three-point range, which ranks 16th in the league. New York is once again in a position to make the playoffs, and Brunson is a huge reason why they've been able to find success in a top-loaded conference.

Speaking of teams at the top of the standings, it just makes sense for Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid to be named All-Star starters once again. The Boston Celtics own the best record in the league and Tatum is their best player. Giannis has the Milwaukee Bucks in a position to contend for the top spot in the conference, and Embiid is once again the favorite to win the MVP award for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The last spot in the starting lineup for the East belongs to Tyrese Haliburton, who made his first All-Star Game last season and has now turned himself into an MVP candidate. Although Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell are having fantastic seasons, it is impossible to overlook what Haliburton has done during the first half of the season, especially after his recent 20-20 games.

Haliburton led the Indiana Pacers to the championship game of the first NBA In-Season Tournament and is currently averaging 12.7 assists per game. By the end of the year, the young Pacers star could become just the sixth player in league history to average at least 12 assists per game in a season, joining the likes of Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Kevin Porter, and Kevin Johnson. With this year's All-Star Game in Indianapolis, the Pacers star feels like a lock to start.

As for the reserves in the East, Young and Mitchell definitely deserve recognition for their scoring and playmaking numbers. Both guards rank inside the top 10 in scoring this season, and the Atlanta Hawks guard is averaging 11.3 assists per game. These are two viable candidates to fill the backcourt reserve spots. For the frontcourt, there are many players who can be discussed.

Julius Randle is often criticized for his play, but he has once again made a difference in the Knicks being a real threat in the East. Even with his scoring numbers being down compared to his All-Star season last year, Randle is nearly averaging double-digit rebounds per game once again. Bam Adebayo should also be making his third All-Star appearance alongside Randle in the frontcourt. The Miami Heat big man has averaged a career-high 22.0 points per game this season and continues to be one of the best defenders in the league.

From the Orlando Magic, Paolo Banchero is another player who should be making the first All-Star appearance of his career this season. Following his Rookie of the Year season, Banchero has led the Magic to a spot near the top of the Eastern Conference standings and has suddenly expanded his game outside of just scoring as a playmaker and facilitator.

The final two utility slots in the East All-Star predictions were given to Tyrese Maxey and Damian Lillard. Much like Brunson, Maxey has been having a career year and is nearly as important to the success of the Sixers as Embiid. For Lillard, he ranks 16th in the league in scoring and ranks ninth in the league in made threes.

Just missing the cut from the East were Jimmy Butler, Mikal Bridges, Scottie Barnes, Franz Wagner, and Cade Cunningham. Butler's offensive production has been very inconsistent at times this season, leading to him being left off the list. Cunningham and Barnes were not selected due to their team's respective struggles. As for Bridges and Wagner, there just aren't enough spots in the All-Star Game.

Western Conference All-Star predictions

Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nikola Jokic representing the West NBA All-Stars

Starters: G Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), F LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), F Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns), C Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

Reserves: G De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), G Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), F/C Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), F Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), C Alperen Sengun (Houston Rockets), G Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), G Desmond Bane (Memphis Grizzlies)

When it comes to the Western Conference and who will start in the All-Star Game, there is no discussion whatsoever. These five players are locked into their spots and there is nothing any other player can do at this point to try and make up ground. In the backcourt, Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should be unanimous selections to start in the All-Star Game. If they are not, well, a biased media member or a teammate went ahead and thought they were slick by giving a single vote to their player.

What Doncic is doing this season is absolutely unreal, especially since he has single-handedly carried the Dallas Mavericks with near-40-point triple-doubles with Kyrie Irving out due to injury. Gilgeous-Alexander's case revolves around the fact that he is the best one-on-one guard in the league and currently leads all players with 2.6 steals per game. Shai is a two-way superstar no matter how you dissect his game.

Moving on to the three frontcourt starters, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Nikola Jokic have their spots on lock down unless they get injured. Now 39 years old, LeBron continues to redefine career longevity. James looks like he could play at least another five years, and that's not an overstatement. Durant is having arguably his best shooting and scoring season of his career in terms of making everything look so easy, and we don't even need to talk about Jokic.

The rest of the Western Conference All-Star team is where things get interesting. The two reserve spots in the backcourt should belong to De'Aaron Fox and Stephen Curry right now. The Sacramento Kings are once again one of the best offensive teams in the league and are led by Fox, who ranks fifth in the league in scoring and eighth in steals per game. Curry is the only player keeping the Golden State Warriors afloat right now. He also leads the league in made threes this season, a shocking stat to everyone around the NBA.

In the frontcourt, Anthony Davis is absolutely an All-Star this season. Left out of All-Star Weekend the last couple of seasons due to injuries, Davis has played in 29 of the Lakers' 31 games to this point and is near the top of the league in rebounding while also scoring 25.0 points per game and playing elite defense. He will likely get attention over Durant for a spot in the starting lineup.

Joining Davis as a frontcourt reserve are Kawhi Leonard and Alperen Sengun, who would be making his first All-Star appearance. Much like Davis, Leonard is finally healthy for once and has been on a tear offensively. The Los Angeles Clippers have been one of of the hottest teams as of late due to Leonard's offensive leadership.

The Houston Rockets have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2023-24 season. Fred VanVleet and Ime Udoka get all the attention for the positive things happening in Houston, but Sengun has arguably been the third-best center in the league this season behind Embiid and Jokic. Nearly averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds on the season, as well as being a very underrated defender and passer, Sengun gets the nod here to make his first-ever All-Star appearance.

The final two utility spots in the West go to Anthony Edwards and Desmond Bane. Edwards has led the Minnesota Timberwolves to having the best record in the conference and currently ranks 13th in scoring. While the Memphis Grizzlies have been bad, Desmond Bane has been sensational. Averaging nearly 25 points and over five assists per game and shooting over 38 percent from deep, Bane has been one of the most consistent guards all season long.

The Western Conference is stacked with talented players, hence why some stars like Devin Booker and Brandon Ingram were left off this year's list as of right now. It's possible that Domantas Sabonis, Lauri Markkanen, Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zion Williamson, or rookies Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren receive consideration for a frontcourt or utility spot, but who would they be an All-Star over? Davis and Leonard have put together better seasons to this point and Sengun has been one of the best all-around big men in the entire league. With this said, don't be shocked if Wemby receives a lot of the fan votes this year.