7 NBA stars likely to make their first All-Star team in 2023–24

Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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4) Mikal Bridges

It is honestly a bit surprising that Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges hasn't made at least one All-Star team in his first six seasons in the NBA. That could be chalked up to spending most of his career in the West, where it is notoriously difficult to make the team, as well as playing in the shadow of Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Fortunately for him, Bridges was traded mid-year to the Brooklyn Nets, where his production exploded last season.

In 56 games as a Net last season, Bridges averaged 26.2 points with terrific efficiency. Most players who dramatically increase their number of shot attempts, like Bridges did, tend to suffer a drop in shooting percentage. However, he attempted 5 more shots per game in Brooklyn than in Phoenix, yet went from 57.4% true shooting to 60.7%.

That might not sound all that impressive, but it proves that he was ready for an increased role and that he didn't just increase his scoring by taking more shots. Had he done that over an entire season, Bridges would have been a top-10 scorer in the NBA, in addition to being one of the premier wing defenders and the reigning iron man of the league.

Based on his performance last season and this season, it's clear that it wasn't a fluke, and he could make the East All-Star team as a result.