UTAH JAZZ

Markkanen, Mitchell Stand Strong As All-Star Voting Nears End

Jan 19, 2023, 1:47 PM | Updated: 1:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The third round of NBA All-Star voting has been released and Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen has held steady as the count nears an end.

Markkanen remains in seventh place among Western Conference frontcourt players upping his vote total from 845,663 to 1,348,243.

All-Star voting began on December 20 and will run through this Saturday, with the All-Star rosters announced later this month and into early February.

Markkanen Doesn’t Slip Throughout Process

Unchanged from the first two sets of returns, Markkanen trails LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, Andrew Wiggins, and Paul George in All-Star voting, but is ahead of future Hall of Famers Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard.

The Finnish forward is having a breakout season during his first year in Utah. Markkanen is averaging a career-high 24.8 points per game while grabbing 8.7 rebounds and handing out 1.8 assists.

Markkanen’s numbers have increased since All-Star voting began on December 20, averaging 30.6 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the floor, 42 percent from the three-point line, and 92 percent from the free throw line in 13 contests.

As of the third round of voting, the Jazz own the sixth-best record in the Western Conference with 34 games remaining in the season.

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.

Mitchell Likely To Start In East

While Markkanen has made a strong argument to get selected by the NBA’s coaches as a reserve, former Jazzman Donovan Mitchell appears poised to make his first-ever start at All-Star weekend.

Mitchell has held steady in second place in the Eastern Conference backcourt trailing only Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving.

While the superstar guard sits 130,000 votes back of the top spot in the East, he owns a seemingly insurmountable 1.8 million vote lead over third-place guard Jaylen Brown.

Mitchell is averaging a career-high 28.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three.

The Cleveland Cavaliers own the fifth-seed in the East, 5.5 games back of the top-seeded Boston Celtics.

Mitchell made three All-Star appearances as a member of the Jazz.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Markkanen, Mitchell Stand Strong As All-Star Voting Nears End