What does it take to be an All-star? The first thing is marketability. There are a few Magic players that come to mind when we explore that possibility.
There are a few ways to make the NBA All-Star team. Being a popular player with highlights on ESPN every night will draw tons of votes from casual NBA fans. Putting up big numbers and being on an exciting team helps as well. Aside from the fans input, Coaches are able to fill out the bench for the All-Star team. For teams that do not get as much national television games this the way to crack the All-star team. There are a few Magic players that have the potential to make the All-Star team if the Orlando Magic continue to win.
Aaron Gordon is the obvious choice for a lot of people. Gordon is a guy who can almost out jump everyone in the league. That in itself makes him stand out in a crowd. He also has been working on his jumper. Combine that with his ability to guard almost every position on the court sets him apart from everyone. Gordon is also the closest player on the team to being a household name at the moment.
Jonathon Simmons is a guy ready for a breakout season. He can be relied upon to guard the most elite wing players in the league. Simmons has been successful at guarding everyone from James Harden, LeBron James, Paul George, and Russel Westbrook. Much like Aaron Gordon he can guard almost every position on the court. While with the Spurs when LaMarcus Aldridge was injured, he stepped up and carried the load offensively and defensively. He’s a guy that is in the prime of his career and ready for the spotlight. He would be a guy the fans would love to see make the all-star team.
Jonathan Isaac is a guy who can play all 5 positions. Isaac can block shots, rebound and has quick hands on defense for stealing. To start the season off he might struggle at first picking up the offensive scheme during the game. But he is a skilled dribbler and has a nice set shot. Out of everyone on the team Isaac has the most upside. The fans are going to love this guy.
Elfrid Payton is a guy that when he is on his game he is a force to be reckoned with. As he goes, so goes the Orlando Magic. Once the Magic adjusted their lineups and were in sync, Payton almost averaged a triple-double. When Payton is aggressive he is as good as any point guard in the game. The concerns about his 3 point shot is a little overstated. There have been other point guards who weren’t the best shooters but they were floor generals. Look at Tony Parker for example. While Parker may not be the most exciting player he always got the job done and yes he has made the All-star team multiple times.
Terrance Ross is a dark horse. He is a guy who can guard and play multiple positions. He is a guy who could win the dunk contest(again) and the three-point contest. Ross is perhaps the most underrated passer on the team. With all the wing players for the Magic, it will be tough for Ross to stand out.
Fournier is a guy who when he is hot offensively he is hard to stop. Offensively there is almost nothing he can’t do. He is not a natural passer but he worked on it last season and improved that part of his game. He is not the best defender but he can be a nuisance in spurts on defense. Popularity outside of Orlando Magic fans and the country of France might not be there at the moment, but he could turn that corner.
Vucevic is currently second in the league in the MVP according to NBA Math. He is currently 17th in the league in scoring with 23.8 ppg as well as 17th in rebounding with almost 11 per game. Nikola Vucevic is one of the best passing bigs in the game today. There is virtually nothing he can’t do offensively, even shoot the three ball. The only knock on Vucevic is he is not a great defender. Numbers-wise, Vucevic should get the nod for an All-star selection this year, no doubt. The question for him as far as being an All-star is will the fans and media (outside of Orlando) notice. I think winning will solve a lot of those problems and the Magic are doing that now.
Overall the future looks bright for the Magic. There are many opportunities for the team to have a member suit up for the All-Star game. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out on the court.