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Never Been a Benchwarmer: 5 Active NBA Stars Who've Only Started
#1
Karl-Anthony Towns (511 games)

Career averages: 23 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists

Selected as the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Towns immediately became a cornerstone for the Timberwolves. His rookie season showcased his potential, averaging 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. Towns' skills and versatility marked him as an indispensable asset for Minnesota, making him their core player as they embarked on a rebuilding journey.

Andrew Wiggins (635 games)

Career averages: 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists

Wiggins entered the league with high expectations as the top pick. His athleticism and defensive prowess secured his spot in the Timberwolves' starting lineup. Although not positioned as the team's leader, his contributions were vital. Traded to the Warriors, Wiggins found a role in their defensive scheme, highlighting his adaptability as he embraced the challenge of a different role.
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Kyrie Irving (671 games)

Career averages: 23.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists

After LeBron's departure, Irving, the first pick for the Cavaliers, faced immense pressure to lead. Despite personal growth, team success eluded him until LeBron's return. Their partnership delivered a championship, but Irving's journey continued through various teams, each with its own set of challenges.

Damian Lillard (769 games)

Career averages: 25.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.7 assists

Selected at a slightly older age, Lillard's maturity and skill set made an immediate impact. As a reliable offensive force, he led the Trail Blazers consistently to the playoffs. Recent uncertainties suggest his departure from Portland, but his starting position remains unquestioned due to his on-court prowess.

Chris Paul (1214 games)

Career averages: 17.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists

Drafted by the Hornets in 2005, Paul's impact was immediate. A dynamic playmaker, he elevated teammates and facilitated wins. Despite stints on multiple contenders, a championship has eluded him, often due to injuries. Now with the Warriors, Paul's role as a sixth man is being considered, reflecting his adaptability as he chases the elusive title.
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