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  • The NBA announced the 2019 All-Star starters on Thursday night with LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo named captains. SI put together a mock draft off the results. Who do you think has the better squad?
By DeAntae Prince and Jarrel Harris
January 25, 2019

The 2019 NBA All-Star starters were unveiled Thursday night and and to no one's surprise LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains after receiving the most votes. The West starters are stacked with multiple MVPs, with James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and a MVP-caliber player in his own right, Paul George. On the other side, the East boasts some of the most exciting young talent in the game, including the Greek Freak and Joel Embiid.

While the actual NBA All-Star draft doesn't take place until Feb. 7 after the NBA trade deadline, SI.com decided to stage its own mock draft and see who LeBron and Giannis should pick. Since we couldn't get the two NBA stars themselves, SI.com NBA producers DeAntae Prince (Giannis) and Jarrel Harris (LeBron) are filling in. Who do you think has the better team? Let @TheCrossover know on twitter.

**LeBron gets first pick after receiving the most total votes**

Getty images

First Pick: Kevin Durant (Team LeBron)

Arguably the two best players in the world on the same team? Sign me up. This is the basketball equivalent to Watch the Throne. Durant will be a free agent next year and while it is probably a long shot that he joins the Lakers, at least we can get another glimpse of what kind of damage this tandem could do together. It was fun seeing them on the same squad at last year's All-Star Game—where they suffocated Stephen Curry on defense in the final seconds to secure a win. — JH

Second Pick: Stephen Curry (Team Giannis)

With Kevin Durant off the board, I went with his teammate and last year’s captain, Stephen Curry. The Warriors star is a no-brainer in my mind, with his playmaking and ability to get hot from deep. Curry will also be back in his hometown and hoping to put on a show for his family and Davidson supporters. — DP

SHARP: Let Us Step Back and Appreciate James Harden

Third Pick: James Harden (Team LeBron)

I was actually hoping to snag Curry with my second selection because he is my pick to win All-Star MVP since the game is in Charlotte and that holds something personal to him.

Harden has been playing out of this world lately. Just check out his recent stretch scoring: 61 points, 37 points, 48 points, 58 points, and 57 points. Adding the Beard to a lineup that already possesses LeBron and KD is kind of unfair. His last two All-Star outings have been unimpressive—scored only 12 points in both games. For my team’s sake, he puts in the effort and continues his scoring explosion and reminds everyone on the court that he is the best offensive weapon in the game. Worth noting, I doubt he gets to the free-throw line 20 times! — JH

Fourth Pick: Kawhi Leonard (Team Giannis)

One of the top players in the Eastern Conference this season was my selection once the two Warriors were off the board. He’s playing the best ball of his life, with his points and rebounds at career highs and the Raptors rolling and capable of making a Finals run. Kawhi can matchup with LeBron or Kevin Durant and hold his own, so that’s a major plus as well. — DP

Fifth Pick: Joel Embiid (Team LeBron)

I think Team Giannis should throw in the towel. You can make the case that this is the best frontcourt ever assembled in NBA history. Embiid is a true showman. He impacts the game on both offense and defense. Let’s just hope Team LeBron gets to pick Russell Westbrook as a reserve to add an awkward situation— JH

Sixth Pick: Paul George (Team Giannis)

This was another easy selection at this stage. George is another guy at the peak of his powers, taking on more of the offensive load from Russell Westbrook and defending the best player every night. He’s had wars with LeBron in the East and could run into Durant and the Warriors in the postseason. He’s willing to stare down either player. — DP

MAHONEY: Westbrook Tops SI's Crowded List of Reserves

Seventh Pick: Kyrie Irving (Team LeBron)

Kyrie’s game is catered to an All-Star game environment. He has the handle and possesses the type of competitive edge that people like to see in the ASG game. Pairing Kyrie again with LeBron will create more headlines but this team is downright unstoppable. — JH

Eighth Pick: Kemba Walker (Team Giannis)

My team is on the smaller size, but that’s also where the NBA is headed. With Giannis as the anchor Kawhi and Paul George capable of defending one through five, my team will hold its own on every level. Minus Giannis, we also have a team full of shooters and creators. We’ll spread the floor a la the Bucks, break down the defense and bury them from deep. — DP

Team LeBron: James, Durant, Embiid, Harden, Irving

I think my team obviously has the edge. LeBron James and Kevin Durant on the same team is scary. We have size and we have two of the most creative playmakers in the backcourt. My team possesses everything you would want to see on an All-Star roster. — JH

Team Giannis: Antetokounmpo, Curry, Leonard, George, Walker

My team is on the smaller size, but that’s also where the NBA is headed. With Giannis as the anchor Kawhi and Paul George capable of defending one through five, my team will hold its own on every level. Minus Giannis, we also have a team full of shooters and creators. We’ll spread the floor a la the Bucks, break down the defense and bury them from deep. — DP

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