Eastern Conference All-Star Power Rankings: Paolo Banchero's late push bodes well for his bid

The Orlando Magic's fall in the standings seemed to put Paolo Banchero's All-Star bid at risk. But his sudden rise in the fan vote and player vote suggests his candidacy is very strong.

Paolo Banchero has put himself in the All-Star conversation and has earned his peers' respect in the process.
Paolo Banchero has put himself in the All-Star conversation and has earned his peers' respect in the process. / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves Power Rankings

Orlando Magic get their man in

player. 38. . Paolo Banchero. 22.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.8 APG. . 7. Paolo Banchero AS 01.26.24. . Paolo Banchero

The question for Paolo Banchero is not if he will be an NBA All-Star but when he will get the call. Will it be this year? Will he have to wait another year to make it?

It is happening one way or another. Every Orlando Magic fan and every defender who has had to deal with the 6-foot-10, 215-pound, bruising forward knows it. It is just a question of whether the coaches will give him his first nod now.

Banchero has been incredible this season and especially incredible in the last month. In January, Banchero is averaging 24.8 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and 5.3 assists per game. He recorded his first career triple-double against the defending champions, no less. And he recorded his first two games of 40 points or more.

The only knock on his resume is the Magic's slip to eighth in the standings. But that should not be enough to keep him off the team.

Even if he does not get the nod now, he is putting up All-Star numbers and performances. It is just a matter of time before it happens.

Clearly, with these rankings, I think he gets there. But undoubtedly, it is not a sure thing with many excellent frontcourt players in the East clamoring for attention.