THUNDER: George remains in line for All-Star start; Westbrook, George may have to be selected by coaches

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

OKC's Paul George breaks down the court during the Thunder's game against Utah, Monday, Dec. 11, 2018, at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder may get a trio of their players into the upcoming NBA All-Star game.

However, if the current fan vote remains unchanged through its Monday deadline, only one Oklahoma City player is likely in line to be a starter.

The NBA released the latest voting numbers from the fans on Thursday and Paul George (2,583,342 votes) came up as the No. 3 frontcourt player in the Western Conference, trailing Los Angeles Laker LeBron James (3,770,807) and Dallas rookie Luka Doncic (3,301,825).

Fan voting is not necessarily conclusive. Ultimately, it will account for 50 percent of the total vote. NBA players and NBA coaches also account for 25 percent each.

Additionally, whatever the Thunder representation is for the game, which tips at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina, it’s not clear those players would be on the same team or opposing teams.

That’s because this season marks the second in which the top vote-getter in each conference — currently James in the West and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the East — will choose their teams via a playground style draft.

The pool from which they may choose comprise the additional four starters from each conference and seven reserves from each conference, as determined by the coaches.

This year, for the first time, the draft will be televised, airing at 6 p.m. on Jan. 24 during the TNT NBA Tip-Off Pregame Show.

Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook (2,090,432) is currently No. 4 among Western Conference backcourt vote-getters, trailing Golden State’s Stephen Curry (2,979,080), Minnesota’s Derrick Rose (2,712,938) and Houston’s James Harden (2,315,093).

Also, Thunder center Steven Adams (1,483,223) is No. 6 among Western Conference frontcourt vote-getters. After George at No. 3, Golden State’s Kevin Durant (2,432,134) is in the fourth spot and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis (2,091,770) is in the fifth.

The Eastern Conference’s starters, should the current fan vote hold up, includes Antetokounmpo (3,626,909), Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard (2,882,227) and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (2,292,511) in the frontcourt and Boston’s Kyrie Irving (3,187,015) and Miami’s Dwyane Wade (1,738,043) in the backcourt.

Should George maintain his starting position once fan voting is complete and the players and coaches have weighed in, it would mark his sixth All-Star designation and his first start since 2014.

Should Westbrook be selected, it would be mark his eighth All-Star appearance. In 2015 and 2016, Westbrook earned All-Star MVP honors.

If Adams is chosen, he would become an All-Star for the first time.

Released Jan. 17
Game: Feb. 17 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

Fans account for 50 percent of the vote to determine the starters, current players and a media panel account for 25 percent each.

Eastern Conference
Frontcourt

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee, 3,626,909

2. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto, 2,882,227

3. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia, 2,292,511

4. Jayson Tatum, Boston, 826,177

5. Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia, 740,778

6. Blake Griffin, Detroit, 677,472

7. Vince Carter, Atlanta, 423,795

8. Pascal Siakam, Toronto, 338,716

9. Gordon Hayward, Boston, 336,476

10. Al Horford, Boston, 291,722

Guards

1. Kyrie Irving, Boston, 3,187,015

2. Dwyane Wade, Miami, 1,738,043

3. Kemba Walker, Charlotte, 1,156,040

4. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia, 941,368

5. Victor Oladipo, India, 778,983

6. Kyle Lowry, Toronto, 708,071

7. Zach LaVine, Chicago, 440,568

8. Jeremy Lin, Atlanta, 341,024

9. Goran Dragic, Miami, 335,899

10. Bradley Beal, Washington, 251,170

Western Conference
Frontcourt

1. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers, 3,770,807

2. Luka Doncic, Dallas, 3,301,825

3. Paul George, Oklahoma City, 2,583,342

4. Kevin Durant, Golden State, 2,432,134

5. Anthony Davis, New Orleans, 2,091,770

6. Steven Adams, Oklahoma City, 1,483,223

7. Nikola Jokic, Denmark, 1,128,766

8. Kyle Kuzma, L.A. Lakers, 899,237

9. Draymond Green, Golden State, 660,276

10. DeMarcus Cousins, Golden State, 450,480

Guards

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State, 2,9790808

2. Derrick Rose, Minnesota, 2,712.938

3. James Harden, Houston, 2,315,093

4. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 2,090,432

5. Klay Thompson, Golden State, 1,120,675

6. Damian Lillard, Portland, 851,125

7. DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio, 850,415

8. Lonzo Ball, L.A. Lakers, 764,894

9. Chris Paul, Houston, 419,410

10. Devin Booker, Phoenix, 405,432

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