What could keep Dejounte Murray out of the All-Star Game?
Two things stand out as potential hurdles to Dejounte making his first All-Star appearance this season - the absurd depth of talent in Western Conference backcourts, and the San Antonio Spurs' poor record.
As much as we all love DJ, let's be honest with each other here - there's a very slim, barely nonexistent chance, that he makes it in due to fan, player, and media voting. He's starting to get the attention he deserves but he's still not a household name, doesn't play in a major market, and doesn't have a highlight-generating game that's going to put him on House of Highlights night after night.
This means he's likely going to have to be one of the seven coach-selected reserve players. To get on that list, he's likely going to have to beat out guys such as Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, and Damian Lillard. It's not impossible. From a purely statistical standpoint, you could make a strong case for why he should be included over them. But as we've seen time and time again, All-Star selections are rarely just a numbers game.
San Antonio Spurs fans were furious when Mike Conley was added as an injury replacement for Devin Booker last season instead of DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan had the edge over Conley in almost every metric except one - wins.
The Utah Jazz were one of the top teams in the NBA while the Spurs were struggling to make the play-in tournament. For as much as the All-Star Game is a recognition of individual talent, there is no denying that broader season-long narratives also play a role in who participates and who's booking flights to Cancun that weekend.
As it stands today, the Spurs have the 5th-worst record in the NBA at 3-7. A lot can change between now and February 20th, but if the San Antonio Spurs don't get above .500 before then, Murray's chances of making the All-Star Game are sadly quite thin.
That's not to say that it's impossible, it can be done. Bradley Beal made the All-Star Game last season when his team was 13-19 heading into the break but he was also averaging 33 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per contest up until that point. If Murray can up his scoring to the 23-25 point per game range while still maintaining his assist, rebound, and defensive impacts, then he could have an argument for inclusion despite what the Spurs' record may be at the time. But that's an awfully tall task.
Whether Dejounte Murray makes his first All-Star Game this season is anyone's guess. But through the first ten games of the season, he's more than proved that he belongs in the discussion.