NBA All-Star Game 2018 Draft: TV Schedule for LeBron vs. Steph Rosters Reveal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2018

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) is guarded by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

LeBron James and Stephen Curry are officially on the clock.

The reserves for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game were revealed Tuesday during the broadcast of NBA Tip-Off on TNT. The starters were already unveiled during Thursday's broadcast of NBA Tip-Off, so James and Curry have their full selection of players for the upcoming draft.

As the top vote-getters in their respective conferences, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors stars will serve as captains and pick teams in the game's new format this year.

According to the All-Star Game's official Twitter account, the Team LeBron and Team Stephen rosters will be revealed at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday on NBA on TNT.

Unfortunately for those who wanted to see how the proverbial sausage will be made, the draft will not be televised. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said airing the draft live would have created "a sense from the players that it put them in an impossible position" while appearing on NBA TV (h/t The Starters' Twitter account).

That won't stop fans from guessing some of the selections. With that in mind, here is a look at the starters and reserves, as well as a predicted player for Team LeBron and Team Stephen.

              

East Starters

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

            

West Starters

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

James Harden, Houston Rockets

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans

           

East Reserves

Al Horford, Boston Celtics

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

John Wall, Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

          

West Reserves

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

            

Predicted Pick for Stephen Curry: Kevin Durant

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 17: Kevin Durant #35 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors react during game against the Chicago Bulls on January 17, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

Sure, Curry drafting Durant will be viewed as a loyalty selection considering they are both Golden State Warriors. It makes sense for Curry not to ruffle any feathers when he plays with one of the best players in the league, and Durant fits the bill.

However, it's not as if drafting someone like Durant doesn't have its basketball reasons as well.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP is a matchup nightmare and can consistently drill the uncontested threes players will likely find themselves facing in the middle portion of the All-Star Game or finish in the lane. Having a four-time scoring champion in a game that figures to feature plenty of points is an ideal strategy.

Durant has also thrived on defense this season and is averaging 2.1 blocks per game while holding opponents to 5.3 percent worse shooting than their normal averages, per NBA.com. He can unleash some of that stronger defense in the closing minutes when pride kicks in and there is an elevated focus on that side of the ball.

There is also something to be said for the familiarity Durant and Curry have from playing alongside each other, especially in a game featuring so many different pieces.

               

Predicted Pick for LeBron James: Russell Westbrook

TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 13:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Western Conference shakes hands with LeBron James #23 of the Eastern Conference during the NBA All-Star Practice as part of 2016 All-Star Weekend at the Ricoh Coliseum on February 13, 2016 in Tor
Bruce Yeung/Getty Images

The All-Star Game often assumes a defense-optional tone for extended stretches and having someone who can take a rebound at one end, blow past stationary defenders in the open court and unleash some of the dunks the fans are always looking for in this contest is beneficiary.

Few, if any, are better at doing just that than the defending league MVP Westbrook.

He was also the MVP at the 2015 and 2016 All-Star Games, and James will give a nod to that impressive recent history at this event with his selection.

The fact Curry is picking on the other side also could play a factor given some of the established tension between the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder. For one, Durant left the Thunder to join the Warriors after nine seasons in Oklahoma City, and the two sides were also involved in a scuffle during a game in March.

Curry also said James Harden was his pick for MVP last season when asked by Dan Patrick to pick someone not on the Warriors (via Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk), which was notable because Westbrook won the award while averaging a triple-double.

Westbrook responded "Who's he?" when told about Curry's MVP comments, via Faizal Khamisa of Sportsnet.

Long story short, Curry probably won't be selecting Westbrook—who also plays point guard like himself—anytime soon. James will jump at the chance and take a ball-handler so he can play in space more and be on the receiving end of Westbrook's alley-oop lobs.

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