The two-time NBA Finals MVP is averaging 27.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 2.0 steaks, but has controversially only appeared in 34 games, with most of his absences being due to his injury management routine, which has kept him out of the second night of sets of back-to-back games. Still, his reputation and dominant play (maybe bolstered by a monster January so far that recently earned him a Player of the Week award) were enough to secure a spot in the starting lineup. Leonard finished third in the fan vote, coaches rank, and players rank for Western Conference Frontcourt players behind James and Davis.
Right now, it’s not clear if Clippers wing Paul George will make the All-Star reserves. George finished fourth in fan voting behind Leonard, but was ranked 5th by fellow players (behind Nikola Jokic) and 7th by media members (behind Jokic, Rudy Gobert, and Brandon Ingram). He has only played in 26 games so far this season between his early-season recovery from shoulder surgery and a recent hamstring injury.