Once again, the All-Star Game this year will be Team LeBron versus Team Giannis. Coming off of last year’s 178-164 win in Charlotte, LeBron will be looking to defend his throne. Giannis, on the other hand, will be trying to flip the script.
Things will be different this year in Chicago with nine first time All-Stars, 3 of which are starters. Additionally, the NBA is debuting a new format for this year’s All-Star game. The score will reset to 0-0 at the beginning of each of the first three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, both teams’ total scores from the previous three quarters will be added up and the higher score will have 24 added to it (RIP Kobe) to set the winning score. The fourth quarter will be untimed, and the first team to hit the point threshold will win the game.
With all of the All-Star players unveiled, the only question that remains is which captain will draft who, and when.
Since he got the most votes of any player, LeBron James will have the first pick in the 2020 NBA All-Star draft.
Anthony Davis, James Harden, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young
Pick #1: Team LeBron – Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
This pick may come as a surprise to some, but LeBron is going to take his teammate and great friend Anthony Davis with the first pick in the draft. Their Lakers are living up to the hype, sitting atop the west with a 37-11 record. LeBron wants to win, and who better to help him do it than his favorite pick-and-roll and lob partner?
Pick #2: Team Giannis – Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
While Giannis’ jump shot has significantly improved this year, it is still imperfect. He is going to need shooting on his team, as well as savvy, which makes fellow European Luka Doncic the perfect fit. Doncic is having a superstar season in merely his second year in the league averaging a near triple-double. Hopefully, he will have a little extra Luka magic in Chicago.
Pick #3: Team LeBron – Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
Although their teams are rivals sharing the same arena, Kawhi Leonard is a dominant force and a winner. LeBron knows this. As the reigning Finals MVP and best two-way player in the league, Kawhi is having another excellent year despite his load management. He showed out for Team LeBron during last year’s All-Star Game, and LeBron is hoping Kawhi will bring it again.
Pick #4: Team Giannis – Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
If there is one thing that Giannis loves, it is size. He has a history of drafting big bodies to accompany his own. Having a force down low like Joel Embiid to man the paint and defend the rim is the anchor that Giannis craves on his squad. Embiid played for Team Giannis in last year’s game, and Giannis would love to have him back.
Pick #5: Team LeBron – James Harden, Houston Rockets
Team LeBron is going to need some perimeter shooting if it plans on competing with Team Giannis. In this instance, taking one of the biggest offensive threats and best three-point shooters in the league, James Harden, would make sense. Averaging over 35 points and thirteen three-point attempts per game this season, Harden brings the deep threat and spacing to Team LeBron that it needs if it wants to win this game.
Pick #6: Team Giannis – Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
To counter LeBron’s pick of James Harden, Giannis selects Atlanta’s Trae Young. Ice Trae is also a sniper from deep, and the perfect shooting threat to support Giannis. Young is another great floor spacer, which can help the Team Giannis offense run smoothly. Plus, having Trae and Luka on the same team together would be a nice treat as well.
Pick #7: Team LeBron – Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
Fortunately, Kemba is not going to be the last starter picked in the All-Star draft again this year. The Celtics point guard is having a solid year with his new team, putting up 22 points per game on almost 39% from three. He and Harden form a Team LeBron backcourt that can score from anywhere on the floor.
Pick #8: Team Giannis – Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
Being picked last among the starters is in no way a knock on the tremendous season Pascal Siakam is having. Siakam is averaging career highs in every main stat category this season. He is also starting in his first All-Star game. His *defending champion* Raptors are currently second in the east and riding an eleven-game win streak, thanks in large part to Siakam’s excellence.
Bam Adebayo, Brandon Ingram, Chris Paul, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Nikola Jokic, Ben Simmons, Kyle Lowry, Domantas Sabonis, Jayson Tatum, Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton, Russell Westbrook
Since LeBron had the first pick among the starters, Giannis will have the first pick among the reserves.
Pick #9: Team Giannis – Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
With the first pick from the reserves pool, Giannis will select his fellow Bucks teammate Khris Middleton. The two are leading a 43-7 Bucks team that is terrorizing the rest of the league, and they are looking to continue their dominance into All-Star weekend.
Pick #10: Team LeBron – Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard is playing the best basketball of his life at the moment. Averaging over 40 points per game over his last ten games, Lillard is on a historic tear. He is a threat from anywhere within the half-court; and adds an excellent shooter and leader to Team LeBron.
Pick #11: Team Giannis – Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler embodies everything that the Miami Heat stand for, which might be why he is having such a good season. He has been deferring to his teammates more than usual this year and is averaging a career-high in assists. If he is able to bring that inclusive style basketball to Team Giannis, then he will continue to make everyone around him on the floor better.
Pick #12: Team LeBron – Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
As a fellow point-forward and Klutch Sports client, LeBron and Simmons share many similarities. They are also friends off the court. Simmons is the perfect catalyst to run the second unit for Team LeBron.
Pick #13: Team Giannis – Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets
Whether he drafts him to pair him with James Harden or Joel Embiid, Giannis taking Russell Westbrook is a good pick. Giannis took Westbrook in last years’ All-Star draft and knows that Russ will bring his usual fiery self once again in Chicago.
Pick #14: Team LeBron – Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Having a big man like Nikola Jokic will allow the Team LeBron offense to run effortlessly due to his passing ability and spacing for his size. The offense is what is going to dominate in this game. A center like The Joker is the perfect man for that job.
Pick #15: Team Giannis – Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell is having a quietly good year in Salt Lake City. His Jazz are fourth in the always tough Western Conference with a 32-17 record. He brings scoring and a scrappy mentality to a Giannis led team that cannot get enough of either.
Pick #16: Team LeBron – Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Tatum is loving life in Boston post-Kyrie, and it has shown in his play. Joining fellow Celtic Kemba Walker on Team LeBron is a great fit for Tatum. Hopefully, LeBron is not still salty about Tatum’s poster on him in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals.
Pick #17: Team Giannis – Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
Brandon Ingram has proved all of the doubters – especially the Los Angeles Lakers – very wrong with his play this season in New Orleans. Now that he has a rookie named Zion Williamson healthy and playing, Ingram’s development will only continue. This is his first career All-Star game, making it the perfect stage for him to go at the LeBron/Davis tandem.
Pick #18: Team LeBron – Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder
We all know that LeBron will select his good friend and fellow Banana Boat member Chris Paul. The question is with what pick will he take Paul. CP3 is balling out this year. His originally counted-out Thunder team is sitting seventh in the West and comfortably in the playoffs for the moment. This is Paul’s tenth All-Star game and first since 2016. In a league where nothing is guaranteed, Paul will not be taking this year’s appearance for granted.
Pick #19: Team Giannis – Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
Thankfully, there will be no tears from Rudy Gobert this year. He is one of the best defenders in the league, and the perfect big man to command the Team Giannis second unit. Pairing him with Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell will allow the two to take their chemistry to the All-Star stage.
Pick #20: Team LeBron – Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
Domantas Sabonis is having the best season of his career thus far, which is worthy of his first All-Star nod. He has led the slept-on Pacers all season. Indiana is poised for a potential first-round upset in the eastern conference playoffs in the wake of Victor Oladipo’s return.
Pick #21: Team Giannis – Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
With the final pick in the 2020 All-Star draft, Giannis selects a smaller guard in Kyle Lowry. Lowry is having another solid year coming off his first championship run. Joining teammate Pascal Siakam on Team Giannis to play against former Raptor Kawhi Leonard has all the makings of a great storyline.
Pick #22: Team LeBron – Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
Last but certainly not least is Miami’s Bam Adebayo. At this point in his career, I am sure he is just happy to be an All-Star. In his third season, Bam is putting up career highs across the stat sheet. He is one of the main factors of the overwhelming success the Heat have had so far; and will be a dominant big in this league for years to come.
Starters: Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Kemba Walker, LeBron James
Reserves: Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, Nikola Jokic, Jayson Tatum, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis, Bam Adebayo
Starters: Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, Trae Young, Pascal Siakam, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Reserves: Khris Middleton, Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell, Brandon Ingram, Rudy Gobert, Kyle Lowry