LeBron, Stephen, you have some big decisions to make.
We’re here to help.
Just like in fantasy sports, where you know most people are relying on a mock draft they found online or in some magazine anyway, AP Basketball Writers Brian Mahoney and Tim Reynolds have drafted the teams for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game — in case captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry needed a bit of guidance on how to put together their rosters for the Feb. 18 game in Los Angeles.
Mahoney won a coin toss and goes first, where he drafts as if he were picking Team LeBron; Reynolds drafted as if he were picking Team Stephen. And since the NBA isn’t planning to make the draft details public, this might be as close as you get to the real thing anyway.
Mahoney: Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He’s a dominant athlete who wants to dunk on everyone and is too young and hungry to know you’re not supposed to go all out in the All-Star Game.
Reynolds: Kevin Durant.
Because he’s Kevin Durant and I know if he doesn’t go here he’ll be very annoyed.
Mahoney: Anthony Davis.
I’m not passing on a guy who scored a record 52 points last year in his first All-Star start. Besides, imagine him as LeBron’s teammate — in Cleveland.
Reynolds: DeMarcus Cousins.
The man just had one of the stat lines for all-time, a 44-24-10 game the likes of which hadn’t been seen in 46 years.
Mahoney: Kyrie Irving.
Though he left him, LeBron knows as well as anyone just how good Kyrie is.
Reynolds: DeMar DeRozan.
There are no Lakers and no Clippers in this game, but DeRozan is a Compton native and former USC star. LA fans love him.
Mahoney: James Harden.
In an All-Star game you can’t have too many scorers, now Team LeBron has the NBA’s leading scorer on a squad that already has Nos. 2-4.
Reynolds: Joel Embiid.
The only player left in the starter pool, and it’s kind of crazy to think someone that good is a default pick to this team.
Reynolds: Russell Westbrook.
Reigning MVP who averaged a triple-double last year, is nearly doing it again this year, and loves All-Star Games.
Mahoney: Jimmy Butler.
The guy’s done two stints with Tom Thibodeau, he doesn’t know how to not go hard.
Reynolds: Draymond Green.
This will be a brutally tough pick for Steph, with Klay Thompson still available.
Mahoney: Damian Lillard.
Worthy of being an All-Star every year and capable of doing something big now that he finally is again.
Reynolds: Klay Thompson.
If Steph pulls this off, getting all four Warriors on the same team, Bob Myers might not be the best GM in his organization.
Mahoney: Kristaps Porzingis.
He never gets to play in the playoffs, so he’ll relish a shot in the All-Star game.
Reynolds: Karl-Anthony Towns.
A first-time All-Star, a deserving All-Star, he’ll be motivated to show he belongs on the elite stage.
Mahoney: Victor Oladipo.
How can you pass on a guy who became an All-Star after getting traded for Paul George and Paul George is not an All-Star this season?
Reynolds: Kevin Love.
No team meetings questioning his desire are planned, and it’ll make Cleveland’s collective heads explode.
Mahoney: LaMarcus Aldridge.
He would have been a starter by the media panel vote, and media know what they’re talking about.
Reynolds: Kyle Lowry.
DeRozan and Lowry belong together, and by the looks of college basketball right now Villanova guys should be in demand.
Mahoney: Bradley Beal.
Team LeBron is led by a 14-time All-Star, so who better to show first-timers Porzingis, Beal and Oladipo the ropes.
Reynolds: John Wall.
DC will not be united in this All-Star Game, and really, where else on Earth could John Wall be a fourth-string point guard?
Mahoney: Al Horford.
I’ll take a guy like Big Al as the “Mr. Irrelevant” in my draft any day.
So there you have it.
The rosters for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, at least if we were in charge:
Team LeBron, as picked by Brian Mahoney: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard, Kristaps Porzingis, Victor Oladipo, LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, Al Horford.
Team Stephen, as picked by Tim Reynolds: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Joel Embiid, Russell Westbrook, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, John Wall.
Brian Mahoney is the AP Basketball Writer based in New York. Write to him at email@example.com. Tim Reynolds is the AP Basketball Writer based in Miami. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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