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NBA All-Star Game to include pick-up style draft immediately ahead of tip-off

NBA All-Star Game
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Utah will be announced later this week. We’ll also have captains for the two teams announced on Thursday with it looking like Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks getting the honors.

Things have changed big time from previous eras in which the Western Conference and Eastern Conference did battle in the mid-season exhibition game. We can now add another layer to that.

The NBA announced on Tuesday that the draft between the two teams will be held shortly ahead of tip-off in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19.

Previously, the Association held its NBA All-Star Game draft in the weeks leading up to the annual event. Now, it’s going to more of a pick-up game style draft with about a half-hour to go before the game itself starts.

This will give the game an entirely new feel. No practices for teams ahead of tip-off. No real game plans. Simply put, it’s going to have a pick-up feel to it.

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NBA power rankings

We fully expect things to get interesting in the lead up to tip-off from Vivint Arena. Will King James once again opt for rival Stephen Curry to join him on his team? Who will choose Donovan Mitchell as he makes yet another appearance inside his old stomping grounds? Will Kevin Durant suit up and join one of the teams?

The Association has been at the forefront of modern changes in recent years. While some have pushed back against its current NBA All-Star Game format, this draft should be rather entertaining.