Has Chet Holmgren done enough to warrant being an All-Star as a rookie?

As the NBA opens up its 2024 NBA All-Star voting, could OKC Thunder big man Chet Holmgren see himself in the mid-winter classic as a rookie?

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings
Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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The NBA is set to open up its All-Star voting this Morning at 6 a.m. Central Time. NBA stars are hoping to get help from the fan vote to push them to Indianapolis for the Mid-Winter Classic on February 18th. Some have locked in their spots long ago, but others are hoping to cling to the few unspoken for reservations in the motor city.

For the Oklahoma City Thunder, sitting with the second-best record in the Western Conference, they know they'll have a represented there. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made his first All-Star game a season ago, in the process of leaping right to superstar status.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished fifth in MVP voting a season ago and has not slowed down. Again, averaging over 30 points, hauling in five rebounds and dishing out six assists per game while leading the NBA in Steals per tilt with a jaw-dropping 2.7.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's spot is spoken for in Indianapolis, but could anyone from this OKC Thunder team join him? While the Thunder are again overshooting expectations, if things continue to play out this way, could they warrant a second All-Star?

Enter Chet Holmgren, who is fresh off a Lisfranc Fracture that robbed him of the entire 2022-23 NBA season, making his debut to the tune of 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a pair of blocks per game. Holmgren is shooting 52 percent from the floor, 36 percent from beyond the arc, and 87 percent at the charity stripe.

Could Rookie Chet Holmgren join Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the 2024 NBA All-Star game?

45 NBA Rookies have made the All-Star game in their freshmen season, but none since 2011 rookie Blake Griffin. Like Holmgren, Griffin missed his scheduled first season with an injury, only to come back and dominate in his first go around the NBA.

Other names include Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Yao Ming.

It will not be easy to join such an elite company, and the fan vote only makes up 50 percent of the process. Media, players, and coaches all get their say in who makes it as well.

However, given the monster games Chet Holmgren has produced, from nine blocks in a contest to multiple game-tying buckets against the Warriors to eventually push the Thunder over the hump for victories, it is no longer taboo to question if the Gonzaga big man could earn his way to All-Star status as a rookie.

According to Synergy, Chet Holmgren ranks in the 87th percentile in overall offense, 77th percentile in transition offense, 86th percentile against man defense, 81st percentile in the pick-and-roll, 97th percentile on cuts, and even 64th percentile in isolation.

Mix that with his floor spacing, the fact he knocks down catch-and-shoot attempts at a 39 percent clip and finishes at the rim 69 percent of the time, and you can instantly see his impact on the floor. The microwave success he has helped turn this offense into, which currently ranks top ten in the entire NBA.

On the flip side, defensively, Holmgren is able to swallow up shots at the rim, ranking top three in blocks per game as well as raw blocks, only allowing matchups to convert at a 50 percent clip at the cylinder.

Chet Holmgren is also 20th in Win Shares per 48 minutes, and as he gets it done on both ends, it is undeniable that Holmgren's presence is a big reason why the Thunder have made yet another sizable leap this season.

If there was ever a rookie that warranted a spot in the NBA All-Star game, so far it looks to be Chet Holmgren.

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