UTAH JAZZ

Markkanen Seventh In First All-Star Voting

Jan 5, 2023, 12:54 PM | Updated: 12:57 pm
Utah-Jazz-Lauri-Markkanen...
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen drives to the hoop (Photo by Chris Gardner/ Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/ Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Lauri Markkanen had a strong showing in the first round of NBA All-Star voting released on Thursday.

The Utah Jazz forward recorded the seventh-most votes among all Western Conference frontcourt players with 466,988 votes.

All-Star voting began on December 20 and will run through January 21, with the All-Star rosters announced in late January and early February.

Markkanen trailed LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, Andrew Wiggins, and Paul George in All-Star voting, but was ahead of future Hall of Famers Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard.

The Jazz forward is having a breakout season during his first year in Utah. Markkanen is averaging a career-high 23.9 points per game while grabbing 8.5 rebounds and handing out 1.9 assists.

The Finnish big man is one of only two players in the NBA this season to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from the three-point line, joining Golden State Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry.

The NBA will name All-Star starters using a combination of fan voting and voting from current NBA players and media. Starting lineups will consist of two backcourt players and three players in the frontcourt.

Markkanen will not be able to make up the 1.5 million vote deficit he’d need to be named a starter, but the recognition he’s received early on is a promising sign that he could earn his first All-Star nod from NBA coaches who select the rosters’ reserves.

Donovan Mitchell Makes Huge Jump

After repeatedly being underrepresented as a member of the Jazz in All-Star voting, Donovan Mitchell appears poised to earn a starting nod for the Eastern Conference this season.

Mitchell received the second-most votes among Eastern Conference backcourt players trailing only Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving.

The Cleveland Cavaliers star received 1.6 million votes on the first returns, giving him a lead of more than 500,000 votes over Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden.

Mitchell has been named to three consecutive All-Star teams but was only selected as a reserve by NBA coaches.

Jazz Hosting 2023 All-Star Game

Markkanen would be the Jazz lone representative on All-Star Sunday Night when they host the event for the first time since 1993.

“We’re going to roll in Utah from Salt Lake to Park City,” Jazz owner Ryan Smith said during the 2022 All-Star broadcast at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. “Don’t come for a couple of days, come for the whole week.”

Last February the Jazz released a video of all 30 All-Star Weekend logos dating back to the last time the event was held in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz were awarded the 2023 game in 2019 when the team was still under the ownership of the Miller family.

In 2016, Vivint Arena received a $125 million renovation under the Miller’swhich helped them land the star-studded weekend.

Both Sacramento and Milwaukee also bid on the 2023 All-Star Weekend which is expected to generate $45-50 million in economic impact for the state according to former Governor Gary Herbert.

 

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Markkanen Seventh In First All-Star Voting