Yesterday the NBA announced the reserves for the All-Star game to be played on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles. Seven players from both the Eastern and Western Conferences join the five starters announced last week.
This year, however, the NBA has changed the format of the game. Instead of Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference, the players who received the most fan votes—LeBron James and Steph Curry—will draft the teams. Here are the rules of the draft as explained by ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz and Chris Forsberg in their mock draft:
As the top vote-getter among the starters, LeBron James will serve as one captain and will have the first overall pick.
Stephen Curry, the top vote-getter from the Western Conference, will serve as the other captain and pick second.
The picks will alternate until all eight players voted in as starters by the fans, media and players have been selected.
When the draft moves on to picking from the reserves, the order will reverse. Curry will pick first, followed by James.
The captains do not need to meet any positional quotas when filling out their rosters. Curry has joked that he might pick nothing but guards.
The new format provides ample opportunity for drama. Will LeBron take Durant first or allow Curry to pick his Golden State teammate? Will LeBron pass on his former teammate Kyrie Irving? Will Curry take Draymond Green or Klay Thompson with the first pick of the reserves? Will Blazer fans get to see Lillard and Aldridge share the floor again or will they play on opposing teams?
Unfortunately, the draft will not be televised, but that doesn’t have to stop us from discussing how it should or will go.
First, here are the players LeBron and Steph have to choose from:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Anthony Davis
- DeMar DeRozan
- Kevin Durant
- Joel Embiid
- James Harden
- Kyrie Irving
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Bradley Beal
- Jimmy Butler
- Draymond Green
- Al Horford
- Damian Lillard
- Kevin Love
- Kyle Lowry
- Victor Oladipo
- Kristaps Porzingis
- Klay Thompson
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- John Wall
- Russell Westbrook
In the ESPN mock draft, Arnovitz and Forsberg have LeBron picking Lillard as the sixth reserve selected, ahead of players like John Wall, Jimmy Butler, and Aldridge.
So, how do you think the draft will go? Who should LeBron take with the first pick? Which of the reserves should Curry take first? Who will be the last starter and reserve picked? Who are the ideal teammates for Lillard?
The team rosters will be revealed on Thursday, January 25 during TNT’s NBA Tip-Off. Share your ideas in the comments below.