With the 2012-13 NBA season set to tip-off, ESPN’s Chris Palmer lists Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving as one of several potential All-Stars who could represent their respective conferences this coming winter.
Offering both sides of the coin, Palmer states:
Why he’ll make it: A highly skilled franchise cornerstone who is electric in all phases of the game, Irving has the potential to become a transcendent lead guard. His rookie numbers were nearly on par with LeBron James and expectations for Irving’s sophomore season are sky high. He should firmly establish himself as the league’s top young star (expect 20-plus points per game) and boost the Cavs’ wins total by 10-15 games.
Why he won’t: Unless he gets hurt, it’s tough to find a reason he won’t make the All-Star Game, even if the Cavs aren’t competitive. Derrick Rose’s likely All-Star absence all but clears the way for him.
Averages of 18.5 points and 5.4 assists as a wet-behind-the-ears rookie makes it easy to forecast the Cavaliers point guard as one of the next great players at the NBA level. The guard crop in the East is undoubtedly thick, but as Palmer states, the injury to Rose may just be what Irving needs to be rightlfully listed among the best.
[Related: What Can We Expect From The Cavaliers This Season?]