For the sixth year in a row, the Association will be holding an NBA All-Star Draft to form the rosters that will be participating in this season’s event.
Representing the Western Conference, we have Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James as one team captain, and for the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was the other leading vote-getter, meaning these two will be picking teams from an All-Star cast, just as if they were on the playground. A very talented playground.
Unlike past All-Star drafts, this year’s will be a bit different, with the NBA deciding to not only conduct the selection process live on stage at Vivint Arena, just 90 minutes before tipoff, but the draft order will be changing too.
Instead of selecting from the entire pool of All-Stars, the two team captains must begin with the All-Star reserves, leaving the starters to be picked last. This means there won’t be an All-Star reserve who will be in their feels about being the last one selected. Instead, that shameful selection will come down to a starter, which could interesting.
So, we know it will be Team LeBron and Team Giannis, but what if you had the chance to participate in your own NBA All-Star Draft? Who would you pick first? Who would be picked last? That’s exactly what we set out to do in a joint effort with Sportsnaut’s Matt Johnson, who will be representing team Giannis. I, Andrew Buller-Russ, will be drafting as Team LeBron. Let’s get the party started.
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Drafting NBA All-Star reserves in 2023
- Team LeBron (Picked by ABR)
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Anthony Edwards, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
- Pascal Siakam, F/C, Toronto Raptors
- Paul George, G, Los Angeles Clippers
- De’Aaron Fox, PG, Sacramento Kings
- Domantas Sabonis, PF, Sacramento Kings
- Team Giannis (picked by Matt Johnson)
- Jrue Holiday, PG, Milwaukee Bucks
- Jaylen Brown, SG, Boston Celtics
- Bam Adebayo, F/C, Miami Heat
- Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Indiana Pacers
- Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Memphis Grizzlies
- DeMar DeRozan, G/F, Chicago Bulls
- Julius Randle, PF, New York Knicks (picked last)
While each player listed above is an NBA All-Star, someone was inevitably going to be picked last. In this case, it’s two-time All-Star Julius Randle. Meanwhile, we see Jrue Holiday paired up with his regular season teammate, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo, which should lead to more flashy plays than we typically see when the games count.
On LeBron’s side, despite Anthony Edwards being named as a late injury replacement, he gets selected third here. His explosiveness and tendency to make highlight-worthy plays in-season should translate fantastically for an All-Star event.
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2023 NBA All-Star Draft: Starters
- LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- Luka Doncic, PG/F, Dallas Mavericks
- Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets
- Kyrie Irving, PG, Dallas Mavericks
- Ja Morant, PG, Memphis Grizzlies
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks
- Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
- Jayson Tatum, SF, Boston Celtics
- Donovan Mitchell, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Lauri Markkanen, PF, Utah Jazz
In our draft scenario, not only does LeBron James get to reunite with Irving as he hoped he would with the Lakers, he also gets to be a part of the new dynamic duo in Dallas, with Luka Doncic joining the crew too. Plus, adding the NBA’s back-to-back MVP winner in Jokic can’t hurt either. This lineup is practically full of point guards, but we don’t expect a phenomenal passing display, not for an All-Star game.
Giannis joins forces with several of his Eastern Conference playoff foes, with Embiid, Tatum, and Mitchell all joining his team. As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them, and that is exactly what this trio will be doing. Just like in the West, it’s a large lineup, with only Mitchell listed at a height shorter than 6-foot-2. Antetokounmpo and Embiid rank second and third in the NBA in points per game. Seeing how the two dominant scorers share the ball on the same team will be fun to watch.
These are our NBA All-Star teams. Tune in on Sunday at 6:30 PM on TNT to find out who LeBron and Giannis draft to be their teammates.