The first returns for NBA All-Star voting were announced today and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant checks in with the third most votes so far with 605,955. Only LeBron James (641,348) and Kobe Bryant (639,419) have more votes so far.
The voting changed this year so that fans will no longer be voting for the center position and instead two guards and three frontcourt players to determine who starts.
The current leaders to start in the Western Conference would be Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard. In the Eastern Conference it would be Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Garnett.
So at this instance the removal of the center position would have no impact on the starters since Howard and Garnett are both centers this year.
Russell Westbrook is likely a lock to make the team as he has received the fifth most votes so far among Western guards. James Harden is ahead of him at fourth while Jeremy Lin is third.
Serge Ibaka has some work to do to be a serious prospect to make the team with eight frontcourt players currently receiving more votes than him.
Here are the vote totals so far:
Frontcourt: LeBron James (Mia) 641,348; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 573,112; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 218,246; Chris Bosh (Mia) 210,724; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 151,744; Paul Pierce (Bos) 114,735; Joakim Noah (Chi) 73,366; Josh Smith (Atl) 69,344; Andrew Bynum (Phi) 68,596; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 64,266; Shane Battier (Mia) 59,419; Anderson Varejao (Cle) 57,336; Luol Deng (Chi) 48,450; Brook Lopez (BKN) 47,940; Jeff Green (Bos) 36,080.
Backcourt: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 430,925; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 382,613; Deron Williams (BKN) 211,426; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 155,989; Ray Allen (Mia) 130,016; Monta Ellis (Mil) 47,650; Raymond Felton (NYK) 37,974; Jason Terry (Bos) 36,147; Brandon Jennings (Mil) 35,610; Jrue Holiday (Phi) 35,193.
Frontcourt: Kevin Durant (OKC) 605,965; Dwight Howard (LAL) 434,168; Blake Griffin (LAC) 307,855; Tim Duncan (SA) 189,577; Pau Gasol (LAL) 139,868; Kevin Love (Min) 112,922; Omer Asik (Hou) 88,178; Rudy Gay (Mem) 85,279; Serge Ibaka (OKC) 68,285; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 66,290; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 63,056; Marc Gasol (Mem) 61,716; Zach Randolph (Mem) 59,916; Metta World Peace (LAL) 59,167; Anthony Davis (NO) 53,779.
Backcourt: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 639,419; Chris Paul (LAC) 353,603; Jeremy Lin (Hou) 298,319; James Harden (Hou) 196,108; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 143,437; Steve Nash (LAL) 118,073; Tony Parker (SA) 69,983; Ricky Rubio (Min) 54,744; Manu Ginobili (SA) 47,800; O.J. Mayo (Dal) 36,495.
Balloting will conclude on Jan. 14 and the starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 17.