Voting for the 2023 WNBA All-Star game in Las Vegas began on Wednesday. Though the 2023 season is only three weeks old, here are five potential players who could be named an All-star for the first time.
Alanna Smith, F, Chicago Sky
James Wade took a gamble on bringing in Alanna Smith this season. For 2022, Smith was cut by the Indiana Fever after playing in only nine games. Previously, her first three seasons (2019-2021) were with the Phoenix Mercury, where she played in 55 games and averaged 9.9 minutes per game and only 2.8 points per game. Injuries to the Sky’s frontcourt have thrust Smith into a starting role and she has flourished. Her current averages for 2023 are seeing her put up 10.1 ppg while shooting 59.2% from the field and 47.8% from the 3-point range. Finally, she’ll get her first All-star nod if she continues to up her production and continues her strong outside shooting.
Cheyenne Parker, F/C, Atlanta Dream
Atlanta’s Cheyenne Parker is setting career highs in nearly every category. Through five games, Parker has put up 17.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, and 1.6 steals per game. Parker’s career stats have been a bit of a rollercoaster and has yet to be a dominant post during her time in Atlanta until this season. Additionally, her previous best season was in 2020 with Chicago. An All-star spot could be possible if Parker can improve her shooting percentage and limit her turnovers.
Shakira Austin, C, Washington Mystics
The Mystics’ Shakira Austin has taken a major step forward this season after her 2022 rookie year. Austin is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.7 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Additionally, her dominance has shown in the paint and controlling the boards. Her defensive presence inside continues to improve as well. If the Mystics and Austin can settle in as a potential top-four team, then we could see Shakira getting her first All-star selection.
Shakira Austin getting it done on both ends 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/srGuoDAyeC— espnW (@espnW) June 4, 2023
Lexie Brown, G, Los Angeles Sparks
Brown has bounced around the league in her six years. Her rookie year (2018) was spent in Connecticut, then was traded to Minnesota, and won a championship with Chicago in 2021 before landing with the Sparks in 2022. Brown has seen increased minutes this season due to injuries to Jasmine Thomas and Stephanie Talbot. Statistically, she’s averaging 14.5 ppg, 2.3 assists per game, and 1.3 steals per game. Furthermore, Brown is seeing career highs in her shooting, with 50.8% from the field and 44.4% from 3-point range. The 2023 season has seen Lexie flourish and become a leader for the Sparks’ backcourt.
Marine Johannès, G, New York Liberty
Marine has already made a quality impact for the Liberty despite playing in only two games so far this season. Her ability to play either guard position gives Sabrina Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot ample rest during games. However, in her two games this season, Marine has also closed out both games she’s appeared in so far. Moreso, her elite passing ability, paired with her quality shot selection, makes it difficult for opposing defenders. She’ll be key for the Liberty’s playoff run and should see her minutes increased throughout the season. Finally, Johannès could be a frontrunner for the Sixth Woman of the Year award and possibly be named an All-star in just her third season.
This behind the back pass from Marine Johannès 🤯 pic.twitter.com/ayVBRNfOAu— WNBA Fans Only (@WNBAFansOnly) June 3, 2023
Voting for the 2023 All-star Game remains open until June 21. The 2023 All-star Game will be held in Las Vegas on July 15 and air on ABC at 8 pm EST.