The NBA officially revealed its first batch of All-Star votes on Thursday.
Leading the way in the Eastern Conference’s frontcourt with 3,118,545 votes is Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. Unsurprisingly, Giannis Antetokounmpo sits second with a close 2,998,327 votes. Claiming the top spot in the guard category is Durant’s teammate, Kyrie Irving (2,071,715) with Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell currently a distant second (1,637,374).
As for the West, LeBron James holds the most votes and leads the frontcourt with 3,168,694. The guards are currently overseen by the Warriors’ Stephen Curry (2,715,520) and the Mavs’ Luka Doncic (2,388,502).
So what about the Chicago Bulls? Well, it’s not a shock that they aren’t as well-represented as last season. DeMar DeRozan is currently the only player to see his name appear in this initial ballot release, currently claiming the 6th spot among Eastern Conference guards. While his 544,629 votes do put him well ahead of guys like LaMelo Ball (299,113) and Tyrese Haliburton (281,691), it leaves him with a lot of ground to make up on Atlanta’s Trae Young (791,354).
I wish I could say that Zach LaVine’s failure to appear within the East’s top-10 guards is a shock, but we all know his slow individuals start to the season is part of the reason Chicago has struggled so much. The good news is that he has played a lot better since voting opened up last month, and I’m not ruling out the chance of him appearing on the next ballot release that will come our way on Jan. 12.
Having said that, fan vote makes up 50 percent of the final tally, so the uphill battle to make the big game in Utah might already be too steep for LaVine. And that’s undoubtedly frustrating news for the player that just inked a max contract earlier this summer.
Anyway, we’ll keep you posted on how LaVine and DeRozan are doing as we near February. If you want to make the most of your vote in the meantime, votes will count THREE times on Jan. 6, 14, 16, and 20. Mark your calendars!
You can see a complete look at the recent voting release here or below: