Dwyane Wade is second among guards and Jimmy Butler is sixth among forwards in the first NBA All-Star voting returns, the league revealed Thursday.
Wade, who has appeared in 12 All-Star Games (including 10 starts), received 278,052 votes, trailing only Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (543,030). LeBron James (595,288) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (500,663) were the only other players to receive more votes than Wade, who was the leading vote-getter among guards last season.
Wade's 10 All-Star Game starts are tied for 11th most in NBA history. If Wade were to start in 2016 for the Eastern Conference he would move into a tie for 7th most starts in NBA history. Only 12 players have appeared in 13 All-Star Games, though James will make it 13 by the time final votes are counted. Wade would also be the first Bulls starter in an All-Star Game since Pau Gasol in 2015.
Wade won the All-Star Game MVP in 2010 when he scored 28 points on 12-for-16 shooting and 11 assists in the East's 141-139 victory.
One of the most respected and well-liked players in the league, Wade's approval rating among fans - as seen by the sheer number of votes - is hardly surprising. But Wade's numbers have dipped in his 14th NBA season. His 18.5 points per game are the lowest since his rookie season and he's averaging a career-low in assists (3.1) and field-goal percentage (43.3 percent). Wade is ninth among guards in the East in Player Efficiency Rating (19.53).
Butler has received 189,066 votes, trailing James, Antetokounmpo, Kevin Love (250,347), Joel Embiid (221,984) and Carmelo Anthony (189,817) among forwards. Butler has made appearances in the last two All-Star Games and is a lock to make it again this season. There's also a real argument to be made that Butler should make his first start.
In 36 games Butler has averaged 25.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He trails only Antetokounmpo and James in Player Efficiency Rating among East forwards (26.34) and has molded himself into a legitimate MVP candidate.
Voting for this year's All-Star Game will be compiled and averaged in three categories. The fan vote will account for 50 percent of the voting, while the players vote and media vote will both count for 25 percent of the voting. Players will be ranked in each conference by frontcourt and backcourt, and their "score" will be averaged among the weighted three categories. The two backcourt players and three frontcourt players with the best score will be named starters (fan votes will be the tiebreaker if two players are tied after their scores are compiled).
Here are the first returns of voting by position in each conference:
Eastern Conference frontcourt
1. LeBron James (CLE) 595,288
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 500,663
3. Kevin Love (CLE) 250,347
4. Joel Embiid (PHI) 221,984
5. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 189,817
6. Jimmy Butler (CHI) 189,066
7. Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 184,166
8. Paul George (IND) 138,332
9. Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 72,628
10. Jabari Parker (MIL) 64, 141
Eastern Conference backcourt
1. Kyrie Irving (CLE) 543,030
2. Dwyane Wade (CHI) 278,052
3. DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 253,340
4. Isaiah Thomas (BOS) 193,297
5. Derrick Rose (NY) 129,924
6. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 128,940
7. John Wall (WAS) 87,360
8. Jeremy Lin (BKN) 59,562
9. Kemba Walker (CHA) 52,122
10. Avery Bradley (32,822)
Western Conference frontcourt
1. Kevin Durant (GS) 541,209
2. Zaza Pachulia (GS) 439,675
3. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 341,240
4. Anthony Davis (NO) 318,144
5. Draymond Green (GS) 236,315
6. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 202,317
7. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 125,278
8. LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 101,724
9. Blake Griffin (LAC) 100,524
10. Marc Gasol (MEM) 97,370
Western Conference backcourt
1. Stephen Curry (GS) 523,597
2. James Harden (HOU) 519,446
3. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 501,652
4. Klay Thompson (GS) 293,054
5. Chris Paul (LAC) 173,830
6. Damian Lillard (POR) 117,857
7. Eric Gordon (HOU) 76,609
8. Manu Ginobili (SA) 65,832
9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 64,247
10. Zach LaVine (MIN) 53,642