The NBA has decided to make massive changes to the NBA All-Star Game this season. Gone are conferences and, instead, teams will be selected by fan-voted captains. However, there will still be 12 players from each conference and the lack of defense will still be inevitable in the game, so it really fixes nothing, but at least the random rosters will at least be different.
Personally, I've never had a problem with the actual All-Star Game format, but if we're going to start changing it up then let's figure out how last season would have looked in this bizarro captain-based All-Star world. Throw out the 2017 teams as we know them, because it's time to use the new format ... and draft.
Based on last year's fan voting results, the Warriors' Stephen Curry and Cavaliers' LeBron James would be captaining the 2017 All-Star Game based on being the top two vote-getters. With James and Curry leading the All-Star Game as captains, we now have an idea of what kind of players they might choose. James will most likely stick with those closest to him while Curry will probably lean toward adding Warriors teammates and branch out from there.
Player Pool (excluding captains James and Curry)
These are the same 22 who actually played in last year's game (sorry, Kevin Love). Not only did he miss the game due to injury but now he misses out on the very first All-Star Game draft. He just can't seem to catch a break.
*LeBron selects first based on earning the most fan votes
No. 1 pick: Team LeBron selects Carmelo Anthony
This one is easy. James and Anthony have a bond that few players in the NBA share and that is the magical banana boat. Anthony may have not been in the picture, but he was part of the group that attended that vacation and is a close friend of James. These two represent the unbreakable bond of friends, and as a result Anthony will go first.
No. 2 pick: Team Curry selects Draymond Green
This one might be a bit of a surprise. How could Curry not go with arguably the best player in the NBA in Durant? Well, here's why: Green is the true leader of the Warriors off the court and Curry's respect for him will lead him to select the loud and boisterous green over Durant.
No. 3 pick: Team LeBron selects Kyrie Irving
Remember, this is based off last year's teams before Irving had let it known he was going to bolt off to a new location in the offseason. James isn't going to pass up on his star teammate twice in a row. He's willing to do it for his friends, but he has a team chemistry to keep here. Sadly, we all know deep down Irving was hoping for a chance to play without James. If only they knew what the future had in store for them.
No. 4 pick: Team Curry selects Kevin Durant
Here's where Durant gets picked. Curry isn't going to avoid picking his Warriors teammates, and Durant is a good friend of both he and Dray, making this an easy choice for the duo.
No. 5 pick: Team LeBron selects James Harden
This is where the cross conference play begins! James took his friend and he took his teammate, so now he can start building out an actual All-Star team of some kind. In comes Harden. He fills a need for Team LeBron at shooting guard and gets an MVP candidate away from Team Curry. Good choice by James.
No. 6 pick: Team Curry selects Klay Thompson
Curry, on the other hand, still has teammates to draft so he'll add Klay Thompson to his roster and, unsurprisingly, fill out the roster with all Warriors players. This is the obvious and easy answer, but it would have been much more fun if Thompson had been taken by James. Force the Warriors to play against one of their own. Who would Curry have taken in response?
No. 7 pick: Team LeBron selects Paul George
George seems like the kind of player LeBron would want on his team. He earned his respect early in his career for what he did on the Pacers and he's always been someone that put up a pretty good fight against him. James adds a guy he respects and this fits the bill.
No. 8 pick: Team Curry selects Jimmy Butler
Now that Curry has ran out of Warriors to pick from (unless the NBA let's Zaza Pachulia in this year) they will go after another friend of Green's, Jimmy Butler. When did these two become friends? During the Rio Olympics, Green and Butler were usually seen in a group together whether it was near the court or in many of the events off of it. This seems like a team that would enjoy each other's company.
No. 9 pick: Team LeBron selects DeAndre Jordan
James has done enough playing politician. It's time for him to start building an actual team and this means he needs a center. He has a lot of ball-dominant players on this team and could use some athleticism. Time to bring on Deandre Jordan. This will work out great, because so much of his team will want the ball in their hands, but Jordan is just fine catching lobs and dunking. Lob city LeBron edition!
No. 10 pick: Team Curry selects Kawhi Leonard
Curry needs a LeBron stopper of some kind, so in comes Kawhi Leonard to play tough defense in a game nobody is trying in. It'll be weird and fun and with so many stars already playing there won't be a need for Leonard to play more than he already wants to.
No. 11 pick: Team LeBron selects Russell Westbrook
James was holding off on taking another point guard to make sure he kept Irving happy, but now it's time to get the one man in the room that will do everything possible to seek out Durant and dunk on him. This is when the NBA reaches it's pettiest moments. Not only that, he's been teamed up with Harden once more.
No. 12 pick: Team Curry selects John Wall
In response to Westbrook, Curry will take Wall, who is probably steamed at this point that two point guards were taken before him in this draft. He's going to try way harder than normal in this game to prove that, yes, he is definitely better than the point guards who went in front of him.
No. 13 pick: Team LeBron selects Anthony Davis
Still in need of length and size, LeBron will take Davis' long arms and put them up against the Warriors once more. There's reason to believe that Davis is a Warriors counter, and maybe James has studied up on that in order to take him.
No. 14 pick: Team Curry selects DeMarcus Cousins
The big man was playing for the Kings this time last year, and ended up in trade talks during the game itself, but he ended up not playing very much. From an on-paper standpoint, Cousins' size and versatility should make him a fun addition to the Curry squad.
No. 15 pick: Team LeBron selects Giannis Antetokounmpo
Young guys always get the shaft, eh? Antetkounmpo is an excellent player, but he's still too young to get drafted very high by his peers. He'll need to earn that respect, and maybe his annoyance at being drafted so late will make him play a little harder than everybody else.
No. 16 pick: Team Curry selects DeMar DeRozan
Curry is going across the continent and taking DeRozan. He might not fit the team so far stylistically, but that doesn't matter because it's the All-Star Game. DeRozan gets buckets and that's what truly matters.
No. 17 pick: Team LeBron selects Marc Gasol
LeBron is in some serious need of size at this point and he goes with Gasol to cover for that. However, because of this choice he missed out on a chance to make the pettiest pick of the draft.
No. 18 pick: Team Curry selects Kyle Lowry
This pick was made for one reason only: Curry already has DeRozan and now he has to take Lowry, because this is an NBA bromance that few can top. If James really wanted to hit them where it hurts then he would have taken Lowry himself.
No. 19 pick: Team LeBron selects Isaiah Thomas
In response, James picks Thomas, who is absolutely livid he is one of the final point guards picked in this entire draft. Everybody knows how proud Thomas is and he's going to enter the All-Star Game playing 110 percent to prove that he was shafted during the draft.
No. 20 pick: Team Curry selects Gordon Hayward
Team Curry selects Hayward to help round out their very versatile team. He also, unknowingly, has kept Hayward from playing with his future teammate in Boston.
No. 21 pick: Team LeBron selects Paul Millsap
Team LeBron takes Millsap to add one final bit of size to their already very long team. His team is set and has just the right amount of politics and pettiness to it.
No. 22 pick: Team Curry selects Kemba Walker
Walker is picked last in the draft which will be another chip on his shoulder, but if last year's game is any indication he's just going to take it easy. He won the NBA's Sportsmanship Award and is loved by everybody. He's the perfect player to go last in the draft, because he'll manage to take it with a smile on his face.
That is, until he goes out and scores 50 points to tell everybody to never pick him last ever again.
|TEAM LEBRON||TEAM CURRY|
How this game goes is either way. No matter who got drafted when, the players, like every All-Star Game, won't be going all-out and risk injury. This is all a fun event meant to celebrate the game and entertain the fans. That said, I'll pick Team Curry to win because I think they have more players that will feel a need to prove they were drafted too low.