On Thursday night, TNT televised the NBA All-Star draft involving team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. And James did plenty to stoke the coals regarding his possible hopes for this summer, as he selected a slew of soon-to-be free agents with his early selections, including Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.
James picked Warriors forward Kevin Durant first, followed by Irving and Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard. All three are in line to be free agents this summer. After James picked James Harden with his last pick from the pool of starters, he drafted New Orleans’s Anthony Davis as his first pick from the pool of reserves.
The Lakers unsuccessfully attempted to acquire Davis prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, setting up a potential showdown between the Celtics and Lakers as they try to pry Davis from the Pelicans this summer.
Team Giannis will start Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Oklahoma City’s Paul George, and Charlotte hometown favorite Kemba Walker.
Antetokounmpo took his Milwaukee teammate Khris Middleton with the first pick in the reserve round, along with Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Detroit’s Blake Griffin, Brooklyn’s D'Angelo Russell, Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic, and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry. James took Davis, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, and Washington’s Bradley Beal.