NBA All-Star Game mock draft: LeBron goes after Warriors; Curry snags Irving, Love

The reserves for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game were announced on Tuesday, which means we are free to start speculating about who team captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry will select in the league's first All-Star draft. As such, CBS Sports' Brad Botkin (playing the role of LeBron) and James Herbert (playing the role of Steph) conducted a mock draft. 

The format is exactly the same as it will be for James and Curry: First they select from the pool of starters (with James getting the first pick because he had the most total All-Star votes), and then they select from the pool of reserves (with Curry getting the first pick to even things out). 

Here's what went down, along with a brief explanation of each pick from Botkin and Herbert:

Starters
No. 1 (Team LeBron)
Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors SF
LeBron could be tempted to be the good guy and take Kyrie, but Durant is the best player on the board plain and simple. Plus, any time you can break up the Warriors, you have to do it.
No. 2 (Team Steph)
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks PF
Who wouldn't want to play with this guy? Also, Steph said that he wants to pick Giannis so he doesn't dunk on him like he did in last year's game.
No. 3 (Team LeBron)
Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans PF
Just a complete monster who isn't talked about enough as one of the five best players in the world, which he is. Dude scored 52 in last year's All-Star Game to take home MVP.
No. 4 (Team Steph)
James Harden Houston Rockets SG
It's an All-Star Game, so give me bucket-getters, especially in the starting lineup. We'll deal with defense later.
No. 5 (Team LeBron)
Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers C
The length in this starting lineup is getting ridiculous. When Embiid is on the court, he's one of the best players in the league and the Sixers are a top-10 team at worst.
No. 6 (Team Steph)
Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics PG
Who's going to actually be motivated to beat Team LeBron? This guy. And he has won an All-Star Game MVP award before.
No. 7 (Team LeBron)
DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors SG
DeRozan should be getting quiet MVP consideration with what he's doing this season, and his increased playmaking helps this super big starting lineup, which is playing without a traditional point guard.
No. 8 (Team Steph)
DeMarcus Cousins New Orleans Pelicans C
This is an automatic pick, but I'm happy with it. Needed one big, physical dude in the starting lineup to battle Embiid.


To recap, here are the two All-Star team's mocked starting lineups:

Team LeBron

Team Steph

LeBron James

Stephen Curry

Kevin Durant

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Anthony Davis

James Harden

Joel Embiid

Kyrie Irving

DeMar DeRozan

DeMarcus Cousins

Now, for the reserves:

Reserves
No. 1 (Team Steph)
Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder PG
He plays hard as heck in All-Star Games, and he will increase the intensity level as soon as he checks in.
No. 2 (Team LeBron)
Karl-Anthony Towns Minnesota Timberwolves C
More size for LeBron's squad. Towns' defense is still an issue, but nobody cares about defense in the All-Star Game. Offense is all that matters, and Towns is bringing all sorts of that.
No. 3 (Team Steph)
Draymond Green Golden State Warriors PF
Steph knows Draymond's value better than anybody, and the two of them will give Durant crap the rest of the year if they can get the best of his team.
No. 4 (Team LeBron)  
Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers PG
LeBron's squad gets its first true point guard, and it's a great one. Maybe the best off-the-dribble 3-point shooter in the league this side of Steph Curry.
No. 5 (Team Steph)
Kristaps Porzingis New York Knicks PF
Another dude that can shoot from 30 feet, and hey, he brings some rim protection too. That's nice.
No. 6 (Team LeBron)
Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors SG
Another chance to break up the Warriors, and LeBron's squad benefits again. The starting lineup is big, but when Lillard and Thompson come in, it's bombs away. Perfect balance.
No. 7 (Team Steph)  
Jimmy Butler Minnesota Timberwolves SG
This pick feels like a huge steal -- he might have been a starter if he wasn't listed as a guard, and he could be on the floor to close the game in order to guard LeBron or Durant.
No. 8 (Team LeBron)
Victor Oladipo Indiana Pacers SG
A lock for Most Improved Player, Oladipo will shine in his first All-Star Game. He's gone to another level this season by playing faster, and the ASG is nothing if not a wide-open track meet.
No. 9 (Team Steph)
Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptors PG
Really love the toughness on this bench. The shooting isn't bad, either.
No. 10 (Team LeBron)
John Wall Washington Wizards PG
Not having his best year, but still arguably one of the five best point guards in the league. His speed and athleticism is also perfect for this game.
No. 11 (Team Steph)
Bradley Beal Washington Wizards SG
Another guy who gets buckets, and I love the idea of him baiting Wall into a duel. (These duels often mean a series of pull-up 3s, and I like Beal's chances.)
No. 12 (Team LeBron)
Al Horford Boston Celtics C
Best passing big in the league other than Nikola Jokic, and he'll have all kinds of athletes and shooters to find on LeBron's squad.
No. 13 (Team Steph)
Kevin Love Cleveland Cavaliers PF
The best shooter of the last three bigs in the pool, and his outlet passing is awesome in these games.
No. 14 (Team LeBron)
LaMarcus Aldridge San Antonio Spurs PF
You know what you call the person that graduates last in their class at med school? Doctor. No shame in going last here for Aldridge, who is most responsible for what the Spurs have been able to do with Kawhi Leonard on the shelf for pretty much the whole season.


Team LeBron's Final Roster

Starters: LeBron James, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid

Reserves: Karl-Anthony Towns, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, Victor Oladipo, John Wall, Al Horford, LaMarcus Aldridge

Overall impressions: This starting lineup is just ridiculous. Look at the size. The athleticism. No need for a traditional point because LeBron, Durant and DeRozan can all handle the ball just fine. Curry's starting lineup will no doubt be bombing away from three, but LeBron's team can quickly counter with Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard off the bench to play the long-range game, too. This squad has everything.

Team Steph's Final Roster

Starters: Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMarcus Cousins

Reserves: Russell Westbrook, Draymond Green, Kristaps Porzingis, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Bradley Beal, Kevin Love

Overall impressions: The shooting is just ridiculous (imagine a Curry-Irving-Harden-Love-Porzingis lineup) and there are some real fighters on this team. If this is really going to be a competitive, serious game, then you want to have players who will be motivated. LeBron and Durant will be the favorites, but that's fine with these guys. It will make victory much sweeter. 

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories