Five players poised to become the first NBA superstars in 2023, including Anthony Edwards and Galen Bronson

Last season, five players – Ja Morant, Darius Garland, Fred VanVleet, DeJunte Murray and Andrew Wiggins – achieved a major career milestone, being named to the first All-Star Team.

Getting the All-Star title is a big deal. It represents a huge leap in prestige, and can also be financially beneficial for players. This season, there are many players preparing to establish themselves as the first All-Stars. Here’s a look at five of the most likely candidates.

1. Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves

After averaging over 20 points per game during the first two seasons of his football career, Edwards appears to be on the brink of stardom. He already has all-star charisma, and he has the burgeoning game to match. Last season, Edwards became the youngest player in NBA history to make 10 three-pointers in one game — a feat he achieved against the Nuggets in December.

Edwards is also the perpetrator of some of the most vicious posters the league has seen over the past two seasons.

At just 21 years old, Edwards is already a legitimate three-tier scorer, and he still has plenty of room to grow. His numbers increased across the board from freshman to sophomore season. If he follows the same trend this season, it will be very difficult to dismiss him from the All-Star team, even in the Western Conference that is full of talent, and he certainly seems to be doing his best to make it happen.

“I’ve been working on everything, man,” Edwards said of his off-season team recently, via The Athletic. “I’m just getting better. I’m trying to take that leap this year and be the best player I can be. I’m trying to take my team as far as possible… I feel like I’m working very, very hard, harder than myself. I’ve worked before. I’m happy with the results now.” I am happy to see what it leads to on the field.”

2. Galen Bronson, Nix

Jalen Bronson thrived in the four years he spent playing alongside Luka Doncic in Dallas. Last season, he averaged 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per performance while starting in 61 of the 79 games he played for the Mavericks. Those numbers are certainly strong, but his Dallas productions have always had the ceiling of playing next to a goalkeeper who is very in control of the ball like Doncic. Now in New York that will not be the case, as Bronson will have the opportunity to cast off the proverbial shadow of Doncic.

Bronson expects to be the main Knicks guard next season (and beyond, given the fact that he signed a massive four-year deal with the team over the summer). With that distinction comes an increase in liability, and a major bump in production likely. First of all, it’s very likely that Bronson won’t come off the bench in 18 games like he did last season – and he has had throughout his career – so he will have a consistent chance of working early in the games, perhaps a more specific role, which can come in handy. Also, after paying him more than $100 million, Nicks will look to him to be very assertive. As a result, he’s likely to hit the 12.8 more career-highest shots he attempted in every game last season, and he’ll also have the ball in his hands a lot more to make for others.

Bronson should easily reach career highs in assists and points per game this season, and that high production could earn him his first All-Star nod.

3. Therese Maxi, 76

Therese Maxi was the inspiration for the Sixers last season. Having had an inconsistent playing time during his rookie year, Maxi took over the starting point guard in the absence of Ben Simmons last season, and has never looked back — even after adding James Harden to the roster. His numbers swelled as his role increased, and he quickly established himself as an integral part of the Philadelphia offensive. His importance to the Sixers was exemplified during the postseason play.

From his first season into his second season, Maxi’s scoring jumped from eight points to 17.5 points per game, and his assists doubled from two points to 4.3. Even more impressive, his 3-point shot jumped from 30 percent as a rookie to 42 percent last season. The improvement helped cement him as an excellent complement to All-Star midfield Joel Embiid, and his ability to play on and off the ball should help hugely in his fitness alongside Harden in the Philadelphia backcourt as he moves forward. Maxey has an uncompromising work ethic, and if he continues to develop, there are likely to be many All-Star picks in his future.

4. Colin Sexton, Jazz

Sexton may not be the most obvious choice at first, but after trading from the Cavaliers to Jazz – and immediately agreeing to a new, fully guaranteed four-year deal – he could be in line for a big win back season. Last year, Sexton was limited to just 11 games after tore his meniscus in November. During his time on the sidelines, he became somewhat of a forgotten man in Cleveland, in large part due to the simultaneous appearance of All-Star goalkeeper Darius Garland.

The year prior to that, Sexton averaged over 24 points and four assists per performance, and was widely regarded as one of the league’s most promising young players. In Utah, Sexton must once again have the opportunity to produce at a high level for a Jazz team that now finds itself in the midst of a rebuilding process. The team may not be very good, but if Sexton plays well enough individually, he may be rewarded with an All-Star gesture.

5. Therese Halliburton, Pacers

After a promising start to his career in Sacramento, Halliburton moved from the Kings to the Pacers midway through last season, and his numbers have improved after that. In 26 games for Indiana, he averaged 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 shots per performance. They call it filling out a stat sheet. Now, after a full camp and training with his new team, Halliburton, 22, could be ready to take another step forward.

For a Pacers team that will rely so heavily on his production, there is no reason to believe that Halliburton cannot come close to averaging 20 points and 10 assists per night. Doing so and earning the All-Star title are two of Haliburton’s individual goals for the upcoming campaign.

“I want to be a guy at 20 and 10 and I want to be an All-Star,” he recently said via the basketball news site. “Those are two personal goals for me, which I think are achievable.”


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