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  • Will LeBron take Kyrie? Will Steph snub his teammates? And who should be picked last? The Crossover previews Thursday night's festivities with its 2018 NBA All-Star Game Mock Draft.
By Rohan Nadkarni
January 25, 2018

The rosters for the 2018 All-Star Game are set, and the last thing left to do is to draft the squads. If you’re just joining us, the NBA has done away with East and West teams this year. Also, because of a baffling decision by the NBA, the order in which players are selected will not be made public.

Though 12 All-Stars were picked from each conference, two team captains—LeBron James and Stephen Curry—will draft the teams out of the pool of 22 players. Starters—voted by the fans, media and players—must be selected first, and the reserves—selected by coaches—will be selected next. Here’s how The Crossover believes the draft should go down.


Michael Hickey/Getty Images

(Note: LeBron gets first pick because he received the most votes.)

Team LeBron

1. Kevin Durant: Durant is the no-brainer first pick for James. With this move, LeBron secures the player who is right on his heels for best in the world, and he helps break up the Golden State alliance immediately. Drafting Durant also gives James flexibility. Him and KD can both handle the ball and (let’s pretend for a second) initiate offense, so he’s free to go for any position with his next pick.

Team Curry

2. James Harden: I think Curry goes for a Splash Stepbrother with his first pick. Harden was the MVP favorite until a hamstring injury slowed down his campaign. How do you beat a team with James and Durant? Much like Curry’s Warriors, you do it with outside shooting. Harden and Curry will launch with reckless abandon in L.A., and this move would ensure the game’s top-four players are split evenly across the two teams. Team Curry may be at a deficit inside, but nobody is going to be playing defense anyway.

Team LeBron

3. Anthony Davis: Sensing an opportunity to dominate the game to dominate the game with length, I think LeBron goes with Anthony Davis with the third pick. With this selection, Team LeBron’s frontcourt is set—James, Durant and Davis provide an inside-outside attack, and they can be surrounded by just about anyone thanks to James’s ability to play point.

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Team Curry

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Somebody on Curry’s team is going to have to be able to look his opponents in the eye, so I think he takes Giannis to throw a body onto the unicorns James is assembling on the other side. With Harden and himself already together, Curry doesn’t have to worry about Giannis’s shooting struggles. Expect a lob or two.

Team LeBron

5. DeMarcus Cousins: LeBron stays tall, and selects Boogie off the strength of his 44–24–10 game against Chicago earlier this week.

Team Curry

6. Joel Embiid: Still feeling confident with who he has at guard, Steph takes the best remaining big on the board. Embiid can shoot, handle all the trash talking, and bring some youthful energy to Team Curry. Maybe he’ll even come to his senses and ask Rihanna to assistant coach.

Team LeBron

7. DeMar DeRozan: Left with an opportunity to create a last bit of drama, James selects DeRozan with his final starters pick, forgoing the opportunity to reunite with former running mate (and his Nike colleague) Kyrie Irving. Without Irving, LeBron will be able to run point with a group of highly athletic wings by his side. Hasn’t that always been his dream?

Team Curry

8. Kyrie Irving: Curry picks up Irving, and has fun with the idea of creating a team that can shoot from practically anywhere on the court. Irving’s finishing ability should help against Team LeBron’s collective wingspan.

Noah Graham/Getty Images

(Note: The draft order switches for the selection of reserves.)

Team Curry

9. Draymond Green: This is a tough spot for Steph, who has to choose between two teammates in Draymond and Klay Thompson. With three guards on the roster, I think Curry goes for Draymond first.

Team LeBron

10. Kevin Love: Unless Love is traded before the game, James can’t afford not to select him here.

Team Curry

11. Klay Thompson: Curry gets his Splash Bro, and puts three Warriors together on one team.

Team LeBron

12. Russell Westbrook: James reunites KD and Russ for the second straight All-Star game, and finally adds a pure ballhandler to his team.

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Team Curry

13. Jimmy Butler: Curry needs just a little bit more flair on the perimeter, so he goes with Mr. Buckets, who can thrive in a small-ball setup.

Team LeBron

14. Karl-Anthony Towns: I think deep down LeBron would want Porzingis over Towns, but he can’t select an adidas guy after already passing on Kyrie.

Team Curry

15. Damian Lillard: Steph sees an opportunity for his all-guard lineup to become a reality, and he grabs the best shooter left on the board.

Team LeBron

16. Bradley Beal: James needs a pure shooter on his squad, so I think he goes with Beal, who can go three for three with almost anyone on Curry’s roster.

Team Curry

17. Kristaps Porzingis: A versatile stat-stuffer who Curry will need to combat the bigs on the other side of the court.

Team LeBron

18. John Wall: Somebody is going to have to throw these guys pinpoint lobs. The selection keeps him and Beal on the same side.

Team Curry

19. Victor Oladipo: The game’s freshest face. Maybe Oladipo can go from Splash Baby to Splash Man under Curry’s tutelage.

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Team LeBron

20. Kyle Lowry: Content with his number of taller players, James adds one last ballhandler who can shoot threes if he needs to start catching up from the outside.

Team Curry

21. Al Horford: With only two bigs left on the board, I don’t think Steph will choose a conference rival.

Team LeBron

22. LaMarcus Aldridge: The steal of the draft! James nabs Aldridge with the last pick, and starts asking him questions about playing for Gregg Popovich and the real estate market in San Antonio.

Okay, with the draft wrapped up, here’s what the rosters look like for each team!

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Team LeBron

Starters: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan. Bench: Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal, John Wall, Kyle Lowry, LaMarcus Aldridge

Team Curry

Starters: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving. Bench: Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard, Kristaps Porzingis, Victor Oladipo, Al Horford

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