2021 NBA All-Star Game Draft results: LeBron picks Giannis, Durant fills out his squad with Nets teammates

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Kevin Durant is a 13-year NBA veteran who's pretty much done it all. On Thursday, however, he made one of the final debuts of his career when he drafted an All-Star roster for the first time. The two-time Finals MVP earned that honor as the Eastern Conference's top vote-getter among fans for the 2021 All-Star Game. His opposing captain was a familiar face in more ways than one. Durant faced off against LeBron James in his first three of his trips to the NBA Finals, and he took him on again as the Los Angeles Lakers superstar captained his own team as the Western Conference's top vote-getter. 

While the Brooklyn Nets star captained and drafted one of the rosters, he will not be playing in the All-Star Game due to a hamstring injury. As a result, Durant and LeBron drafted the remaining nine starters and 14 reserves from a pre-determined pool. Now, that Draft is officially in the books. The two superstars pre-recorded their selections on TNT yesterday, and now, we know who is playing for who. Here is how the draft shook out: 

Round 1: Starters

  1. Team LeBron: Giannis Antetokounmpo
  2. Team Durant: Kyrie Irving
  3. Team LeBron: Stephen Curry
  4. Team Durant: Joel Embiid
  5. Team LeBron: Luka Doncic
  6. Team Durant: Kawhi Leonard
  7. Team LeBron: Nikola Jokic
  8. Team Durant: Bradley Beal
  9. Team Durant: Jayson Tatum

Round 2: Reserves

  1. Team Durant: James Harden
  2. Team LeBron: Damian Lillard
  3. Team Durant: Devin Booker
  4. Team LeBron: Ben Simmons
  5. Team Durant: Zion Williamson
  6. Team LeBron: Chris Paul
  7. Team Durant: Zach LaVine
  8. Team LeBron: Jaylen Brown
  9. Team Durant: Julius Randle
  10. Team LeBron: Paul George
  11. Team Durant: Nikola Vucevic
  12. Team LeBron: Domantas Sabonis
  13. Team Durant: Donovan Mitchell
  14. Team LeBron: Rudy Gobert

That left the two with the following completed rosters:

Team LeBron

Starters:

LeBron James

Luka Doncic

Stephen Curry

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Nikola Jokic.

Reserves:

Damian Lillard

Ben Simmons

Chris Paul

Jaylen Brown

Paul George

Domantas Sabonis

Rudy Gobert

Team Durant

Starters:

Kyrie Irving

Joel Embiid

Kawhi Leonard

Bradley Beal

Jayson Tatum

Reserves:

James Harden

Devin Booker

Zion Williamson

Zach LaVine

Julius Randle

Nikola Vucevic

Donovan Mitchell

Takeaways

The obvious milestone to come out of this draft? LeBron James and Stephen Curry will play on the same team for the first time in an organized game. They've never shared an All-Star or Team USA roster until now, and it fits in with the style that James wanted to cultivate. He spoke on the draft show about his desire to find players that complement him, specifically shooting, and he's done that here. In Curry and Damian Lillard, he grabbed arguably the two best shooters in this game. 

He found a number of high-IQ passers that can take advantage of his movement off of the ball as well. Nikola Jokic and Domantas Sabonis will be able to simulate the experience he's had with Marc Gasol this season, while Chris Paul was an obvious pick based on their friendship. Throw in several elite defenders in Simmons, Gobert, Antetokounmpo and George and you have a complete roster that should enter this game as slight favorites. 

Durant was forced to draft with a few more constraints. Draft rules forced him to pick second in the first round, but because he is out with an injury, he needed to pick five starters to LeBron's four. That left him with the last two picks in the round. He also had two teammates in the field, and All-Star Draft custom dictates using your picks on those teammates whether or not they are deserving. Preserving chemistry on your actual team is more important than doing so on your fake team. 

In spite of those limitations, Durant managed to build a team in his own image. The sheer number of one-on-one scorers is somewhat astounding. Irving, Leonard, Beal, Tatum, Harden, Booker, LaVine and Mitchell are all pure bucket-getters. That will put Embiid and Leonard, the only two star defenders on the roster, in a difficult position if this game is close, but if nothing else, Team Durant should have little trouble scoring points. 

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Team Durant Starters: Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum.

Team Durant Reserves: James Harden, Devin Booker, Zion Williamson, Zach LaVine, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic, Donovan Mitchell

March 5, 2021, 1:25 AM

Team LeBron Starters: LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic.

Team LeBron reserves: Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, Chris Paul, Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Domantas Sabonis, Rudy Gobert.

March 5, 2021, 1:24 AM

And that's that. We have our rosters.

March 5, 2021, 1:23 AM

"We never played with Utah" in video games, according to LeBron.

March 5, 2021, 1:23 AM

Donovan Mitchell to Team Durant, Rudy Gobert to Team LeBron.

March 5, 2021, 1:22 AM

LeBron takes Domantas Sabonis, and the last two players on the board both play for the Utah Jazz.

March 5, 2021, 1:21 AM

Durant takes Nikola Vucevic. LeBron has never drafted him.

March 5, 2021, 1:21 AM

Keeping up the "same city" trend, LeBron drafts his Clippers rival Paul George.

March 5, 2021, 1:20 AM

Julius Randle to Team Durant in a surprise Knicks-Nets moment.

March 5, 2021, 1:20 AM

LeBron takes Jaylen "underappreciated" Brown.

March 5, 2021, 1:19 AM

Kevin Durant is "very excited" to take Zach LaVine.

March 5, 2021, 1:19 AM

LeBron grabs his buddy Chris Paul. One of the more predictable picks in the game. He closed last year's All-Star Game despite being a reserve.

March 5, 2021, 1:18 AM

Zion Williamson to Team Durant, but all of the fun passers are on Team LeBron. A bit of a bummer.

March 5, 2021, 1:18 AM

Kevin Durant wanted Ben Simmons, just as LeBron once did. We'll see if LeBron is open to dealing.

March 5, 2021, 1:17 AM

LeBron grabs Klutch Sports client Ben Simmons, the player he once traded for in an All-Star Draft.

March 5, 2021, 1:17 AM

Durant picks Devin Booker, the player LeBron recently called "the most disrespected" in the entire NBA.

March 5, 2021, 1:16 AM

LeBron goes with Dame Time, Damian Lillard with his first reserve selection.

March 5, 2021, 1:16 AM

KD takes James Harden. No surprise there.

March 5, 2021, 1:16 AM

LeBron buttering up the competition by reminding Durant that he took him No. 1 overall a few years ago. Smart.

March 5, 2021, 1:14 AM

Team Durant Starters: Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum.

March 5, 2021, 1:14 AM

Team LeBron Starters: LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic.

March 5, 2021, 1:14 AM

That leaves Kevin Durant with Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum.

March 5, 2021, 1:13 AM

LeBron rounds out his starting five with the last remaining big man. He grabs Nikola Jokic.

March 5, 2021, 1:13 AM
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