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Kawhi Leonard second among East forwards in early All-Star voting returns

Unsurprisingly, the Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard is both a very good player — and a popular one. In advance of the NBA All-Star Game, the votes suggest Kawhi is in the mix to start.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Early returns in NBA All-Star Game voting have Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors (the team he plays for) in second among all forwards in the Eastern Conference. So far, Kawhi is also fifth among all players in terms of votes cast, coming behind only LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyrie Irving, and Steph Curry.

The NBA helpfully has the full story here:

We don’t need to go into what makes Kawhi a deserving All-Star, of course. As Raptors fans, we know he completely kicks ass, and as such we’ll vote for him to make it into the game as one of the three starting forwards in the East (a post he most definitely deserves). Case closed on that whole thing.

But as per usual, the NBA All-Star voting process turns up all kinds of weird as hell results at first blush, and this year is no different. For example, it is definitely possible to explain the sudden surge in popularity for wunderkind Luka Doncic; it remains wholly impossible to understand the people who continue to vote for, say, Derrick Rose (who currently has more votes than Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook) and Dwyane Wade (who would somehow start in the dang game in 2019). Just what league are you watching?

In any case, follow the link included in that tweet (or here) to cast your ballot — and to right some of the wildly historical wrongs being perpetrated above. And also, sure, let’s not forget to vote for Kawhi.

The NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for this coming February 17th in Charlotte, so there is still plenty of time.