We're one step closer to knowing the full rosters for the NBA All-Star Game, which is set for Sunday, Feb. 16, in Chicago.
On Thursday night, the two captains of this year's game were announced: LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The starters were also announced:
- Western Conference frontcourt: James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard
- Western Conference backcourt: Luka Doncic, James Harden
- Eastern Conference frontcourt: Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam, Joel Embiid
- Eastern Conference backcourt: Kemba Walker, Trae Young
Those starters will be put in the player pool for the NBA All-Star draft on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. ET on TNT. They'll join the pool of reserve players, as selected by the NBA coaches, which will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 30, on TNT.
There weren't many surprises among the starters, though the pool of reserves will be fascinating.
One would imagine guys such as Paul George, Karl-Anthony Towns, Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell would be locks in the West. In the East, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons are safe bets to make the team.
After that is where the arguments begin. Will Rudy Gobert finally make an All-Star team? (It's ridiculous that the two-time Defensive Player of the Year hasn't to this point). Or will someone like Nikola Jokic or Brandon Ingram get the nod instead?
Things don't get any easier in the East. Bam Adebayo has earned the right to snag a frontcourt spot, though players such as Domantas Sabonis, Andre Drummond and Jayson Tatum will make a strong case.
The backcourt is even more crowded, where Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, Jaylen Brown and Fred VanVleet are all deserving.
Regardless, Antetokounmpo and James will have some fantastic names to consider when selecting their squad. There won't be a bad option available.