Zaza Pachulia second in West frontcourt, LeBron top vote-getter in first returns for All-Star voting
Zaza Pachulia ranks second among West frontcourt players in the NBA All-Star voting with almost 100,000 votes more than Kawhi Leonard. AP

Based on the NBA's early balloting results, Zaza Pachulia is the best center in the Western Conference over popular names like Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

With the first votes released by the league Thursday (Friday, Manila time),  the starting center of the Golden State Warriors is second only behind teammate Kevin Durant among frontcourt starters in the Western Conference, with more votes than Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, Davis and Cousins.

Durant has 541,209 votes while Pachulia has garnered 439,675 votes. Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is third with 341,240 while New Orleans Pelicans star Davis has 318,144.

The top West guards are Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Klay Thompson.

Under the current NBA All-Star lineups, three frontcourt players and two guards will constitute the starters for the annual showcase. Their selection will be based on a new formula where fan voting would comprise 50 percent of their total score plus 25 percent from fellow NBA players and 25 percent from selected media who cover the league.  The seven teserves will be chosen by the All-Star coaches.     

The journeyman center from the Republic Georgia signed a one-year contract to play with the Warriors and is currently averaging 5.2 points, 5.8 rebounds 2.5 assists and 0.5 blocks in 17 minutes of action as the team's starting center.

In the East, the top vote-getters are LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Love up front, Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade on the backcourt. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph