With the Sacramento Kings off to a 20-18 start (their best in 18 seasons) and sitting 5th in the Western Conference standings, it is time to consider the possibility of the franchise’s first All-Star Game representative since DeMarcus Cousins in 2017.
While the game will not be played until Feb. 19 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, the first returns from fan voting were released last Thursday.
BetCalifornia.com analyzed these results, along with this season’s stats and past All-Star rosters, to determine the hypothetical odds of a King making it to Utah for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
With Mike Brown's squad arguably overachieving so far, it is a shame there is no legal California sportsbooks.
Odds Of NBA 2023 All-Star Appearance
Sabonis Deserving, But Faces Uphill Battle
Center Domantas Sabonis faces a tricky situation as he seeks his third career All-Star appearance. On one hand, he is clearly deserving of a nod based on his on-court performance.
One the other hand, it is also clear based on the fan vote that he will have to earn his trip as a reserve if it is going to happen.
While Sabonis averages 18.9 points per game, leads the league in rebounds per game and is tied for 2nd among all big men in assists per game, he failed to make the initial top 10 in Western Conference frontcourt voting. Despite the impressive numbers, Sabonis is likely to be a longshot to make the All-Star Game at places like Fliff Social Sportsbook California.
Top four vote getters LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson hold significant leads over the field and appear likely to grab the three starting spots, plus one of the three frontcourt reserve spots despite injuries to Davis and Williamson.
That leaves just two backup positions, plus two wildcard spots for Sabonis to potentially occupy.
Of the other Western Conference frontcourt players in the top 10 in fan voting, the Clippers' Paul George and the Jazz' Lauri Markkanen offer the biggest competition to Sabonis.
Both are averaging over 23 points per game and starring as the primary option on their team. However, neither are posting better advanced stats than Sabonis despite their scoring advantages.
The Western Conference guard pool also looks fairly top heavy, which could help Sabonis grab a wildcard spot if he fails to secure one of the backup frontcourt positions.
Even if it comes to that, the bet is Sabonis holds far more respect from the coaches than the fans and he finds his way onto the roster. He's played a lead role in flipping the narrative that the Kings fanbase is among the least rewarded across the NBA landscape.
Fox Has Ways To Go
Sabonis' teammate, point guard De’Aaron Fox, might not be so lucky.
Like Sabonis, Fox failed to finish in the top 10 at his position group in the first round of fan voting, but he has two fewer backcourt spots to compete for.
And once again, the top four vote getters (Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Ja Morant and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) have significant edges over the field, plus stars like Damian Lillard and Devin Booker are lurking.
Despite leading the Kings in scoring at 24.2 points per game and raising his efficiency, there just does not appear to be room on the All-Star roster for Fox, especially if Sabonis makes the game, as this Kings squad does not fit the traditional profile of a team with multiple All-Stars.
Stay close to this site for more NBA All-Star developments, as well as eventual California sports betting promos when the time comes.