Only two Canadians have ever been selected as NBA All-Stars.
The first was Steve Nash, who made his All-Star debut in 2002. The second was Jamaal Magloire, who earned his one and only All-Star selection in 2004.
Who will be the third?
Our NBA.com Staff shares their picks following the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles) NBA Canada: This is between Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray for me. You can't go wrong with either - have you seen what Murray has been doing lately? - but I'm leaning towards SGA right now.
I thought SGA was a legitimate All-Star candidate this season. Now the lead man for the Oklahoma City Thunder, not only is he averaging 23.2 points and 6.2 assists per game, both of which are the highest marks of his career, he's shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range, both of which are also the highest marks of his career.
Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider that 87.0 percent of SGA's baskets have been unassisted, ranking him first in the league among qualified players. He's creating almost all of his own offence on a Thunder team that doesn't have many offensive weapons and is doing it at an absurdly efficient rate.
It feels like SGA's development into one of the league's better playmakers has flown under the radar this season, but he's trending in an All-Star direction.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay) NBA Canada: As Scott said, it's between Jamal Murray and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, everyone knows that. And I'm going with SGA.
SGA is already putting up All-Star calibre numbers this season, averaging 23.2 points, 6.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds while shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three. He's doing that on a losing team with a lack of talent around him. If the Thunder were threatening for a playoff spot at the break, there would be more support for SGA this year.
The Thunder have a ton of draft picks for the future, and I'm banking on Sam Presti getting SGA some help soon. SGA will beat Murray to the All-Star Same, in my opinion, but it will be great if both of them make it before long.
Juan Estévez (@JuanEstevez90) NBA Argentina: As Scott and Carlan said, the battle is clearly between Murray and Gilgeous-Alexander. And in terms of individual production, I would have to give the edge to SGA, not only because he's a more complete overall player, but also because in his situation it's easier to put up huge numbers. He's by far the go-to-player on the Thunder, while Murray has to share the spotlight with a potential MVP like Nikola Jokic.
Ultimately, though, I have to go with Murray for one simple reason: Denver is probably going to be a much better team than Oklahoma City in the short term, which always helps players' chances. I can see the Nuggets having a top-three spot out West around an All-Star break and those teams usually get more than just one player. And if that's the case, Murray is going to be the one joining Jokic.
Murray's heroics in the playoffs the past two seasons should also help his reputation as an All-Star, to the point where right now he's arguably the biggest name to never made one among the active players.
Nacho Losilla (@Losilla_) NBA Spain: SGA could have been an All-Star this year. Of course, players like Mike Conley or DeMar DeRozan were ahead on their own merits, but Shai's performance has been excellent and Oklahoma City has competed much better than expected.
In three seasons in the NBA, he has had three different situations and in all of them, he has performed at a very high level. As a rookie, he was an important piece with the surprising Clippers. As a sophomore, he was a part of a trio of guards alongside CP3 and Schroder, learning from both and playing without the ball. And now, in his third year, Shai is the undisputed go-to-guy of his own team.
Murray is very good, but in addition to being SGA's competition for position and conference he tends to underperform in the regular season, and Denver has a perennial All-Star in Nikola Jokic. Jamal is sure to be an All-Star at some point, but Gilgeous-Alexander will be there before him (next year).
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