Kevin Durant has been in the NBA for over 13 years at this point, but on Thursday, he will make one of the final debuts of his career when he drafts 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, and opposing him will be a familiar face in more ways than one. LeBron James opposed Durant in all three of his trips to the NBA Finals, and he will also be the opposing captain in the All-Star Draft as the Western Conference's top vote-getter.
Durant himself will not be playing in the All-Star Game due to injury, so the two will draft the remaining nine starters and 14 reserves from a pre-determined pool. We've made our predictions on who the two superstars will select, but if you want to tune in on Thursday when they actually pick their rosters, here is everything you need to know to do so.
How to watch 2021 All-Star Draft
- Date: Thursday, March 4, 8 p.m. ET | TV: TNT
Pool of All-Stars
Reserves: James Harden, Jaylen Brown, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic, Domantas Sabonis, Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Zion Williamson, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker
How does draft process work?
The pool of 23 players will be divided into starters and reserves. Starters are selected in the first round, and then a second round is held for reserves. Typically, James, the top vote-getter, would have the first pick among starters and Durant, who finished in second, would have his first choice of reserves. However, the process may need to be tweaked slightly considering Durant's absence from the game itself. As James is picking only four starters (with himself as the fifth) and Durant picking five, James picking first would mean that Durant would have to make the last two picks in the first round. No format change has yet been announced, but that is something to watch out for as the league determines what adjustments need to be made with Durant missing the game.
What will the format of the game look like?
Like last year, the All-Star Game will include a modified version of the Elam Ending format created for The Basketball Tournament. At the start of the fourth quarter, a target score of 24 points more than he leading team has will be set. The fourth "quarter" will then be an untimed period. The first team to reach that target score will win the game.