East All-Stars: Butler, Okafor, Deng ... or Lee?

Updated: February 17, 2007, 3:05 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
If you play in the Eastern Conference, All-Star selections are a good-news, bad-news situation.

The good news is that the competition for the All-Star team is much lighter. The bad news is that coaches tend to heavily favor players from teams with winning records, and only six teams meet that standard in the East at the moment.

Nonetheless, the Eastern coaches will have to figure out 12 worthy nominees from among the conference's huddled masses, and today so will I.

A couple of quick ground rules: A player's 2006-07 performance is the biggest factor, but I'm wary of fluke years. And injuries aren't a big factor unless they're part of a larger pattern.

Also, the NBA requires that we select a minimum of four guards, four forwards and two centers, with the last two spots available for any position.

All that said, here's my East ballot:


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