This is the CJ McCollum and Mike Conley class. They are standout players and among the top three on their team, but are always right on the cut line to be an All-Star. McCollum has still never made it, despite averaging over 20 points per game for eight straight years. Conley has one All-Star appearance in his stellar career.
Grant is having another outstanding season and is on pace to average over 20 points per game for the third time in four seasons. The 6’7 forward is in his prime and will draw interest from contenders, even with his massive five-year $160 million contract on the books.
The former number-one overall pick may never reach these heights, but the potential is still there. Ayton is only 25 years old and big men sometimes take a bit longer to develop. He averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2023 and played a key role in the Suns making the NBA Finals in 2021. If he can push closer to 20 and 12 on a contender, he could garner some All-Star buzz.
The 24-year-old has been outstanding this season. He is averaging nearly 27 points per game and shooting 39.8 percent from 3-point range. His defense has been problematic, and Simons is likely suited to be the third-best player on a contending roster. That makes him a fringe All-Star, despite his incredible play this season.