Knicks Player Predicted to Be ‘Wild Card’ All-Star

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

Getty Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson of the New York Knights celebrate after a basket during the third quarter of the game against the Orlando Magic.

After a one-year hiatus, the New York Knicks may find themselves once again being represented in the NBA All-Star Game this coming February.

In a piece penned by Bleacher Report on December 26, writer Grant Hughes predicted who could wind up being selected for the illustrious exhibition this season and found mentioned as an Eastern Conference “wild card reserve” was Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson.

“Other than Donovan Mitchell, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a player delivering more to his new team than Jalen Brunson with the New York Knicks…Brunson is salvaging desperate situations by posting a 64.6 effective field-goal percentage on attempts designates as ‘late’ in the shot clock.

That’s by far the most accurate rate of anyone on the Knicks with at least 15 attempts and the fourth-highest figure in the league among players who’ve taken at least 40 such shots. In addition, New York’s turnover percentage plummets with Brunson in the game, and its offensive rating climbs by over six points per 100 possessions.

Whether hitting bailout floaters to salvage go-nowhere possessions or imparting a sense of offensive order that had been missing for several seasons, Brunson has been exactly what the doctor ordered for the Knicks.”

As Hughes touched on, since being swiped away from the Dallas Mavericks this past summer by means of free agency Jalen Brunson has been an absolute gem of a contributor for the Knicks.

Through 34 games played, the 26-year-old has gone on to post impressive per-game averages of 20.2 points, 6.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per contest on 46.0% shooting from the floor and 36.6% shooting from distance.

During this span, New York has gone on to register a winning record of 18-17, good enough for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

Knicks Fans Want Randle in All-Star Game

Along with Jalen Brunson’s predicted candidacy, many Knicks fans believe that the point guard’s own running mate, Julius Randle, should also be in the conversation for a nod to the illustrious exhibition.

After his stupendous 2020-21 All-Star and All-NBA season, the big man fell a bit flat, particularly with his efficiency, in his follow-up campaign last year where he proved to be one of the least effective go-to scorers, posting 20.1 points on just 41.1% shooting from the floor and 30.8% shooting from deep.

Now in 2022-23, however, it seems as though Randle is showing flashes of his self from two seasons ago, as he’s posting sensational averages of 23.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists on 46.7% shooting from the field.

On top of this, Julius Randle ranks first on this playoff-seeded Knicks team in box plus-minus (3.7), offensive box plus-minus (3.7), and win shares (3.8) out of those who have logged over 300 minutes on the year.

While there are still those out there who still believe that the Knicks should strongly consider moving on from the power forward via mid-season trade, at least for the moment, there seem to be many more vocally supporting Julius Randle’s bid for his second career All-Star selection.

Brunson Reacts to Knicks’ Tampering Punishment

On December 21, it was announced that the NBA has found the Knicks guilty of prematurely engaging in free agency discussions with Jalen Brunson this past offseason and, in turn, would lose the rights to their own 2025 second-round pick as they were found guilty of engaging in premature free-agency discussions with the point guard.

That same day, following the Knicks’ loss to the Toronto Raptors, Brunson was asked during a post-game media session what his reaction was to the news. In response, the point guard kept a rather coy demeanor.

“No reaction, that was my reaction,” Brunson told reporters.

Brunson would continue on by noting that he’s happy that a resolution has come on the matter and that he now no longer has to be asked about it moving forward.

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