Giannis Reveals Plan to Take Stephen Curry with 1st Pick in NBA All-Star DraftFebruary 5, 2019
Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered a spoiler alert Monday.
Antetokounmpo said he plans on taking Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry with his first pick in Thursday's NBA All-Star Game draft, per Matt Velazquez of the Journal Sentinel. He explained he wanted to repay the two-time MVP for selecting him first in last year's draft.
Antetokounmpo and LeBron James are the captains for the Feb. 17 All-Star Game as the leading vote-getters in their respective conferences, meaning they will choose their teams in Thursday's draft. James has the first pick of the starters pool in the opening round as the top overall vote-getter, while Antetokounmpo has the first pick of the reserves in the second round.
The only way Antetokounmpo can select Curry is if James doesn't pick him with the first overall pick.
The two captains have to select from the other eight starters before they can dip into the reserves, which limits James' choices to Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid and Kemba Walker.
Harden stands out as a candidate to go No. 1 overall seeing how he set the post NBA-ABA merger record for consecutive games with 30 or more points this season and is a front-runner to win a second consecutive MVP trophy. That would give Antetokounmpo the chance to live up to his word and take the Warriors sharp-shooter.
This is about more than just paying Curry back, though, as selecting arguably the greatest three-point shooter in NBA history makes basketball sense.
Giannis' one weakness is his perimeter shooting. He has hit just 19.7 percent of his three-pointers this season, so he will need someone else to carry the load on the outside. Curry is the perfect candidate and has drilled 45.1 percent of his triples this season on his way to 29.2 points a night.
If defenders crowd Curry on the perimeter, Antetokounmpo can slash into openings and take advantage of the space the Warriors guard creates. If defenders worry about the Bucks playmaker attacking the rim, Curry can spot up on the outside and exploit the subsequent openings as well.
Not only would the pairing create problems for Team LeBron, but it would also give them a chance to play on the same team before a potential NBA Finals showdown. Antetokounmpo's Bucks are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Curry's Warriors are the No. 1 seed in the West.