2023 NBA All-Star Weekend Top Picks: Could Ja Morant Win All-Star Game MVP?

Ja Morant Memphis Grizzlies vs Charlotte Hornets
Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts following a basket during the first quarter of the game against the Charlotte Hornets. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

The NBA All-Star Game will be here in no time! Here are a few top picks for this year’s NBA All-Star Game. It will be good, even without Steph Curry and Kevin Durant available.

Team Giannis vs. Team LeBron

Sunday, February 19, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at Vivint Arena

The NBA All-Star Game is doing something different this year. The captains will be LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the teams won’t be drafted until Saturday.

There will be a ton of talent getting ready for this game.

Even some new players will get the opportunity to showcase their game, including players like Lauri Markkanen, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Anthony Edwards.

Unfortunately, Steph Curry, who usually puts on a show during All-Star Weekend, is injured and cannot participate in this weekend’s events. Kevin Durant will also miss the game.

What Can We Bet On?

There are plenty of things at the NBA odds board that we can bet on for All-Star Weekend, which is definitely exciting.

The one that catches my eye is which player will be drafted first.

First Pick

The newer All-Star rookies likely won’t be first, it’ll be a star player. Currently, Luka Doncic has +200 odds, and Nikola Jokic is sitting at +300.

The Contenders

Doncic is a great scorer, but Nikola Jokic is a stat-padder. However, Jokic’s game doesn’t translate well for an NBA All-Star Game. He takes advantage of other teams by doing a lot of tricky stuff but won’t be viewed as a top candidate by LeBron or Giannis.

Kyrie Irving is listed at +400, and Jayson Tatum, who has been ill but is back for the Celtics, is listed at +475. Irving and Tatum’s games translate better in the All-Star Game when compared to Jokic.

These two will likely stack up their guards before forwards.

Then the list gets a little trick, with Ja Morant at +800 and Donovan Mitchell at +1400. Lastly, the other three starters are the rookies I mentioned above. It’s unlikely that they’ll get drafted first.

The Best Bet

Therefore, I’m going with Luka Doncic. He’s crafty and sneaky athletic.

Whoever drafts Doncic will probably also draft Kyrie Irving to pair up the two Dallas Mavericks. So it’s perhaps LeBron’s mission to do something like that anyway.

Back Luka Doncic is to be picked first in the All-Star draft.

NBA Pick: Luka Doncic First Pick (+200) at the Top Sportsbooks

MVP Award

The Contenders

After that, we’re looking for a player to win the MVP award. Giannis Antetokounmpo is sitting at +500, with LeBron James at +550.

But look, if James is having trouble playing in actual games due to an injury, he’s likely not going to put forth a ton of effort in this game.

Then there’s Damian Lillard at +600, but he’s not even starting. Luka Doncic is also at +650, with Kyrie Irving at +800.

Jayson Tatum and Ja Morant are both +900 and +1000, respectively, with Nikola Jokic sitting at +1800. So my take was correct from earlier. Jokic’s game isn’t very good for an All-Star Game, and the chances he plays well are slim. Therefore, Doncic should be drafted ahead of Jokic.

Is Ja Morant the Right Choice?

I’m sure Giannis will camp out and earn a near-triple double. But he won’t have any three-pointers or big flashy plays that will excite the crowd. The player that could end up playing well in this is Ja Morant.

Morant is that flashy guard with a ton of confidence. Morant can do it all on the court and even get the crowd jumping with a couple of dunks. He’s been very vocal and loud about being on a great team and being a top player.

Now you’ve got the stage to show it against the best players in the NBA.

What About Jrue Holiday?

Another player that also comes to mind is Jrue Holiday. He’s listed at +7500, and likely won’t get minutes to finish the game. But there are moments where he can just take over a game and get red hot. He’s probably the most underrated player in the NBA, despite being at an All-Star Game.

He’s a bit inconsistent, which is why he’s not recognized as much, but when he’s on his game, he’s one of the best players that the NBA has to offer.

Stay Away From LeBron, Consider Irving

The biggest thing is just staying away from LeBron. He’s been resting a lot recently. So if he goes off in the All-Star Game after barely playing in the regular season, he would be LeFraud.

Meanwhile, giving Kyrie Irving a look wouldn’t be a terrible idea. If he’s freer and more relaxed, he could be in an excellent mindset heading into this game. A free Kyrie is excellent. He’s one of the best scorers the game offers and could prove it in the All-Star Game.

But my favorite bet would be Ja Morant.

NBA Pick: Ja Morant MVP (+1100) at FanDuel