5 questions for the third quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 season
Will Paolo Banchero make the All-Star team?
Wrapping this up on a fun note – Paolo Banchero has looked like an All-Star all season and deserves to be selected for the showcase game in Indianapolis next month.
This is an impressive thing. And even if Banchero is one of the snubs and does not get the call, he has had an All-Star-caliber season.
The NBA is simply overflowing with talent and deserving players. The days of making an All-Star because of your name are nearly over. It is also not a guarantee you will continue to make an All-Star team after you get your first selection, just as Trae Young or Devin Booker.
Banchero is averaging 22.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game this season. He has played every game and kept the Magic afloat with key players out with injuries. He is a clear number-one option and a future star of this league.
A quick glance at the fan voting reveals Banchero will not be a starter -- Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo should get the nod when the starters are announced Thursday. He will need to be selected by the NBA’s coaches.
Paolo Banchero will be in a group with Scottie Barnes, Jaylen Brown, Bam Adebayo, Julius Randle, Jarrett Allen and Pascal Siakam, among others, for a reserve spot. There are also a couple of big-name guards like Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Brunson, who will also take up a reserve spot.
Banchero has an edge over Siakam if you look at their numbers. He is about in the same class as Barnes and Randle. But beating so many established players will still be a tall task. And the Magic's slip in the standings does not help his case.
Listing all the names out shows that if Banchero does not make the team, he will be the first or second guy out. This is important because it seems like players get elevated as an alternate every year due to injury. And Banchero should be in Indianapolis regardless to play in the Rising Stars Game as the league's top sophomore.
No matter how it shakes out, making the All-Star team is a huge accomplishment reflecting Banchero’s impact on the Magic this season.