ESPN Summer Forecast: DeAndre Jordan, NBA All-Star?


Next up on our coverage of ESPN’s Summer Forecast: First-time All-Stars — Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, freshly re-signed to a four-year deal, was ranked no.1 on the list.

Jordan not making the All-Star game in 2015 received plenty coverage thanks to Doc Rivers not being afraid to speak out against the decision for the big man to NOT be included in the event, calling his exclusion a travesty. “I think DJ should be on the All-Star team. I think it’s a travesty. I really do,” said Rivers. “Dirk deserves to be on the All-Star team every year as far as I’m concerned, so you can never have anything against him. He’s been a great player throughout his career. I just think that a guy who is getting 27 [rebounds] and 22 [points vs. Dallas on Monday] and 20s and 20s [should] be on the team.”

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  • Later, Jordan would address his ‘snub’ on popular site The Cauldron, though he declined to refer to his exclusion as such.

    "So, when you ask me whether or not I am disappointed not to have been named an All-Star, my answer is: YES! But when you ask me if I think Dirk Nowitzki deserves to represent the West at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, my answer will remain the same."

    Even if Jordan improves from his 2015 output, where he averaged 11.5 points, 15.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game on a league-best 71% shooting, the route to making the All-Star game for the first time will be a tough one. By removing the center position from ballots and replacing it with ‘frontcourt’ (small forwards, power forwards, center), in order to make the All-Star Game outright — without someone getting injured — Jordan has to no only compete with peer centers (DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol, and Dwight Howard are pretty popular candidates and darn good players) but against power forwards and small forwards. The small and power forward All-Stars last season? Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin as voted in starters, and  LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Durant as reserves, and Dirk Nowitzki as injury replacement. After successful seasons you can add Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, Gordon Hayward, and Derrick Favors to the list of forwards who could sneak into their first All-Star game ahead of Jordan, as well as budding center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, who’ll surely be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

    Basically, it won’t be easy for Jordan, no matter how good he is.

    The real loss of the possibility of Jordan not making the All-Star game is for the fans as Jordan stated in the past he won’t compete in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest unless he’s appearing in the main event. “I just told them I wanted to see what happens,” Jordan told the Los Angeles Times last season in regards to his dunk contest invite. “I’m not trying to disrespect them. But I want to be in the All-Star game as a player and not just as a dunker.” As one of the ten best dunkers in basketball, the NBA is missing out by not having Jordan in the competition, especially with Zach LaVine possibly returning to the field to defend his 2015 Slam Dunk title — it’d be an all-time matchup if they both meet their dunking expectations.

    Hopefully Jordan can squeeze into both events; he’ll surely dazzle in both.