The NBA season is right around the corner as the regular season opens up on October 17. It was a crazy offseason that saw star players both get traded and move on to different teams via free agency.

Here are the players who are most likely to be named to their first All-Star Game at midseason. Two players at each position are highlighted, as well as honorable mentions.

Point guard

Mike Conley, Grizzlies

Entering his 11th season, it is hard to fathom how Mike Conley has never been named an All-Star. In a Western Conference filled with great point guards such as Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Damian Lillard, Conley has often been the odd man out.

He reached career-highs in a multitude of categories in 2016-17 including scoring average (20.5), rebounds per game (3.5), field goal shooting (46.0%), and three-point accuracy (40.8%).

Goran Dragic, Heat

In the 2013-14 season with the Suns, Dragic was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, landed on the All-NBA Third Team, and finished 16th in MVP voting. Plenty of accolades, but wasn't enough to land him an All-Star trip. He put up similar numbers to that season in 2016-17, posting per game averages of 20.3 points and 5.8 assists on 47.5% shooting from the field and 40.5% on threes. If Miami can maintain the momentum they had from their much-improved second half last season, the team and Dragic's exploits will become more noticed, and perhaps rewarded with an All-Star nod.

Honorable mentions: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and Ricky Rubio

Shooting guard

Bradley Beal, Wizards

Many believed Beal was deserving of an All-Star appearance last season, one where he ended with 23.1 points and 3.5 assists per game. He easily finished with a career-high field goal percentage of 48.2, and shot over 40% on three-point attempts for the third time in five years.

With players like Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Carmelo Anthony switching conferences to the West, that should allow Beal to have a great likelihood that this season will be his first appearance at the All-Star Game.

C. J. McCollum, Trail Blazers

McCollum was named the NBA's Most Improved Player after the 2015-16 season, when his scoring average rose from 6.8 in the previous season to 20.8.

He improved it to 23.0 last season, and led the NBA with a 91.2 free throw percentage. He has finished in the top-10 in three-point percentage in each of the last two seasons. At 26 years old, his best still may have yet to come.

Honorable mentions: Devin Booker, Nicolas Batum, Dion Waiters, and Eric Gordon

Small forward

Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves

If the Timberwolves make the jump expected after acquiring Jimmy Butler, then Wiggins could easily receive a trip to the All-Star Game. The 2015 Rookie of the Year averaged 23.6 points per game last season, which was the second-most only behind his teammate Karl Anthony-Towns for players who weren't named All-Stars. Not turning 23 until February, improved defense along with better rebounding numbers (4.0 per game last season) would go a long way to helping him earn All-Star honors.

Khris Middleton, Bucks

Middleton played just 29 games last season due to a torn hamstring, but if he can maintain anything close to the 43.3% shooting on threes during this season, he has a shot to be named an All-Star in the star-depleted Eastern Conference. The Bucks look to be a top-5 team in the East, and that could earn them another All-Star alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo. He should be in the prime of his career at 26 years old, and in a healthy 2015-16 season he finished with per game averages of 18.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.7 steals.

Honorable mentions: Danilo Gallinari and Harrison Barnes

Power forward

Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks

Porzingis has a good chance of putting up All-Star numbers this season with Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose no longer on the Knicks, but they are not expected to be a very good team which could leave him out in the cold.

Even with those players last season, he found a way to average 18.1 points per game in his second year in the league. He also averaged 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game (5th in the NBA). At just 22 years old, we may have seen just the tip of the iceberg from Porzingis.

Serge Ibaka, Raptors

Power forward is easily the worst of these five positions for potential first-time All-Stars. With very few viable options, Ibaka is the second choice at power forward. He averaged 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game in his 23 appearances after he was acquired by the Raptors. He has developed a reliable three-point shot, but his blocks have gone way down since he led the league two straight seasons with the Thunder.

It's not an impossible proposition for Ibaka to become an All-Star though if Toronto remains near the top of the East and with some of the top stars moving from the East to the West in the offseason.

Honorable mention: Derrick Favors


Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

If the Timberwolves make the jump to one of the better teams in the Western Conference as expected, then it is probably even more likely that Towns is named an All-Star rather than Wiggins. In his second year in the league in 2016-17, Towns had per game averages of 25.1 points (tied for 12th in NBA), 12.3 rebounds (6th in NBA), and 1.3 blocks. He shot 54.2% from the field and 36.7% on three-point attempts. While the soon-to-be 22-year-old has a little more work to do on the defensive end, it is pretty evident he would have been named an All-Star last season had Minnesota played to a better record.

Rudy Gobert, Jazz

While power forward is the weakest position of the potential group of first-time All-Stars, center is clearly the strongest. Towns seems like the first choice, but how does one choose between Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Hassan Whiteside, and Joel Embiid? That doesn't even include players like Myles Turner, Jusuf Nurkic, and Steven Adams.

Gobert gets an ever-so-slight edge over the other contenders. He is coming off a season where he finished as the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year behind Draymond Green. He averaged 14.0 points per game while having the second-best field goal percentage in the NBA at 66.1. He led the league with 2.6 blocks per game and his average of 12.8 rebounds was fourth.

If the Jazz can hover around .500, and he scores a little more with Gordon Hayward off to Boston, then there is a strong chance he gets the All-Star appearance.

Honorable mentions: Hassan Whiteside, Joel Embiid, Myles Turner, Jusuf Nurkic, Steven Adams, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert