NBA All-Star Game 2018-19: Mock Draft for Team LeBron and Team Giannis
The NBA All-Star game for the 2018-19 season is getting closer and closer. This will be the 68th edition of the All-Star match and will be played on February 17, 2019, at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The starters were chosen by the fans, media, and current NBA players. Fans made up 50% of the vote, and NBA players and media each comprised 25% of the vote.
The two guards and three frontcourt players who received the highest cumulative vote totals were named the All-Star starters.
NBA head coaches will vote for the reserves for their respective conferences, none of which can be players from their own team. Each coach selects two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards, with each selected player ranked in order of preference within each category.
This year, Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James were chosen as the captains of their respective teams and just like last year will draft their own teams from the pool of all stars. This season's All-Stars are:
Eastern Conference All-Star Starters: Kemba Walker (G), Kyrie Irving (G), Kawhi Leonard (F), Giannis Antetokounmpo (F), Joel Embiid (C).
Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves: Kyle Lowry (G), Victor Oladipo, replaced by D'Angelo Russell (G), Bradley Beal (G), Ben Simmons (G), Khris Middleton (F), Blake Griffin (F), Nikola Vucevic (C). Dwayne Wade (G) is a special roster addition as it is his final season and due to his contribution to the game, will be a third round pick.
Western Conference All-Star Starters: Stephen Curry (G), James Harden (G), LeBron James (F), Kevin Durant (F), Paul George (F).
Western Conference All-Star Reserves: Russell Westbrook (G), Damian Lillard (G), Klay Thompson (G), Anthony Davis (F), LaMarcus Aldridge (F), Nikola Jokic (C), Karl-Anthony Towns (C). Dirk Nowitzki (F) is a special roster addition as it is his final season and due to his contribution to the game, will be a third-round pick.
Since LeBron James was the highest vote-getter among the two captains, he has the first pick in the draft that will happen on February 7th 2019.
Giannis gets the first pick in the second round and then James will again get the first pick in a special third round, where he will choose between Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki, who are special roster additions. Without further ado, let us look at a mock draft for Team LeBron and Team Giannis.
1st pick: Team LeBron: Kevin Durant (F), Team Giannis: Steph Curry (G)
Right off the bat, LeBron will arguably pick the best player in the starters pool in Kevin Durant, who is an elite scorer, rebounder and defender and will be a great fit next to LeBron.
Giannis, who himself is a solid rebounder but not as good a three-point shooter, will pick the best shooter in the league with Curry, their game complements one other and should be a great watch.
2nd pick: Team LeBron: Kyrie Irving (G), Team Giannis: James Harden (G)
Almost always, these All-Star games have a recruitment agenda and with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, 2 of the biggest free agents next season, LeBron is covering all his bases.
Also, Kyrie is probably one of the best ball handlers in the league and will boost team LeBron's chances. Giannis, on the other hand, will be looking for the best of the best, and there is nobody scoring more right now than James Harden.
He is also an elite distributor and will form a devastating partnership with Curry in the backcourt.
3rd pick: Team LeBron: Paul George (F), Team Giannis: Joel Embiid (C)
Team LeBron will continue on their quest for grabbing a bunch of great wings and with the form that George has been on all season, tearing it up for the Thunder, LeBron will be hoping that one of the best two-way players in the league can do it for his team as well.
Giannis will go with a floor-spacing big man in Joel Embiid, who can do almost everything. He can cross over, euro step, post up, shoot the three in your face and then taunt you at being better at it. He is someone who will really set the All-Star Game alive and Giannis would definitely like him on his team.
4th pick: Team LeBron: Kawhi Leonard (F), Team Giannis: Kemba Walker (G)
LeBron will end up picking the better of the last two players, and with nobody really giving a hoot about defense, the only one who might is Kawhi Leonard.
Plus the gap between Leonard and Kemba is pretty big and he's perfect for this almost-all-wing roster.
Team Giannis has Walker on their team, he's by no means a bad option. Even during a year in which he's sacrificed a bit of his efficiency for additional scoring volume, he's remained a dangerous pick-and-roll option and probably have the crowd on team Giannis as well.