NBA All-Star Game team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo faced-off in a draft that was held on February 7, 2019 at 7 p.m. ET.
Team captains were introduced in a new All-Star Game format last season, wherein the leading vote-getters from each conference would be the team captains who will draft from a player pool of the Eastern Conference’s 12 best players and the Western Conference’s 12 best players. The 5 starters, including the team captain were selected by voting among fans, media and players, with fans taking up 50% of the vote while the media and players split the remaining half with 25% of the vote each. The 7 reserves on the other hand, were selected by the 30 league coaches.
Unlike last year’s draft which featured LeBron James and Stephen Curry, this year’s Edition will be televised for all of the world to see. This means that the draft order will be revealed, and maybe even the rationale for the choices the two captains make. With a plethora of NBA’s best superstars available to draft, what will these star-studded teams look like?
Pick #1 (Team LeBron): Kevin Durant
Pick #2 (Team Giannis): Stephen Curry
Pick #3 (Team LeBron): Kyrie Irving
Pick #4 (Team Giannis): Joel Embiid
Pick #5 (Team LeBron): Kawhi Leonard
Pick #6 (Team Giannis): Paul George
Pick #7 (Team LeBron): James Harden
Pick #8 (Team Giannis): Kemba Walker
Team LeBron – LeBron just drafted three potential free agent targets for the Lakers in Durant, Leonard and Irving. Despite the lack of a center, Team LeBron’s starting five is extremely versatile, with three of the best small forwards in the entire league.
Team Giannis – Giannis stayed true to his word, as re-payed the favor by drafting Curry in the first round. His starting five resembles a standard NBA lineup much closer than LeBron’s, with Embiid being a huge advantage for the center-less Team LeBron.
Pick #9 (Team Giannis): Khris Middleton
Pick #10 (Team LeBron): Anthony Davis
Pick #11 (Team Giannis): Nikola Jokic
Pick #12 (Team LeBron): Klay Thompson
Pick #13 (Team Giannis): Ben Simmons*
Pick #14 (Team LeBron): Damian Lillard
Pick #15 (Team Giannis): Blake Griffin
Pick #16 (Team LeBron): Russell Westbrook*
Pick #17 (Team Giannis): D’Angelo Russell
Pick #18 (Team LeBron): LaMarcus Aldridge
Pick #19 (Team Giannis): Nikola Vucevic
Pick #20 (Team LeBron): Karl-Anthony Towns
Pick #21 (Team Giannis): Kyle Lowry
Pick #22 (Team LeBron): Bradley Beal
Team LeBron – Sticking with the theme of potential future Lakers, LeBron has drafted Davis and Thompson (to which Giannis jokingly commented “Isn’t this tampering?”) LeBron seems to have drafted a more well-rounded bench, as he seems to have taken advantage of Giannis’ draft order.
Team Giannis – With the first pick of the NBA All-Star Reserves Draft, Team Giannis selects, Khris Middleton? Giannis once again proves that he is a man of his word, claiming that he would prioritize Middleton and other first time all-stars. He managed to snag up Jokic, Vucevic, Simmons* and Russell, whom are all first time all-stars.
TRADE ALERT! After the draft, LeBron, who REALLY wanted fellow Klutch Sports client Ben Simmons (he shouted “Sh*t!” after Giannis picked him with the 13th pick), decided to offer Westbrook for Simmons. Giannis, who also wanted to pick Westbrook (in order to fix his relationship with Embiid), accepted the deal. Was it a win-win?
Pick #23 (Team LeBron): Dwyane Wade
Pick #24 (Team Giannis): Dirk Nowitzki
Team LeBron – LeBron would’ve confused EVERYONE if he did not draft Wade, his former teammate and close friend. It was almost a guarantee that he would go with the Heat guard.
Team Giannis – Giannis was left with Dirk, but he couldn’t really go wrong with either pick. Dirk is the longest tenured player in the league, and sending him off in an all-star games just feels right.
How did the draft go? Who will win the All-Star Game? Tweet us @UniqueSportplus on Twitter!