For the fourth year in a row, LeBron James will be captaining a squad during the NBA's All-Star Game, while Kevin Durant will have the honor of selecting the opposing group after they were named the top two recipients of the All-Star vote.
The complete list of candidates was revealed Tuesday, and the players will have until March 4 to formulate their rosters, when the All-Star Game Draft will be aired at 8 p.m. ET on TNT NBA Tip-Off.
James will be going for his fourth-straight victory in the game, which will tip off at 8 p.m. ET on March 7, with coverage on TNT.
- LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- Kevin Durant, F, Brooklyn Nets
- Nikola Jokic, F, Denver Nuggets
- Kawhi Leonard, F, Los Angeles Clippers
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks
- Joel Embiid, F, Philadelphia 76ers
- Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
- Luka Doncic, G, Dallas Mavericks
- Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
- Kyrie Irving, G, Brooklyn Nets
- Jaylen Brown, G, Boston Celtics
- James Harden, G, Brooklyn Nets
- Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls
- Julius Randle, F, New York Knicks
- Ben Simmons, F, Philadelphia 76ers
- Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics
- Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic
- Anthony Davis, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- Paul George, F, Los Angeles Clippers
- Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz
- Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
- Donovan Mitchell, G, Utah Jazz
- Chris Paul, G, Phoenix Suns
- Zion Williamson, F, New Orleans Pelicans
What to Watch For
Will KD Keep The Nets Together?
Since acquiring James Harden from the Houston Rockets in a four-team trade, the Nets' offense went from being dominant with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to being virtually unstoppable.
Since Jan. 16—Harden's first game with his new team—the Nets have led the NBA with an average of 122.6 points per game, though the team's defense took a hit, with 119.8 points against in the same span, per NBA Advanced Stats. And the group hasn't suited up for all of those games as a trio due to absences.
If the Big Three were on the same team for the All-Star Game, it would give Team Durant a legitimate chance to supersede whoever was on the other side of the court. But it's likely James knows that, and he'll steal either Harden or Irving away if he's given the chance.
What if LeBron and Giannis Were Teammates?
An all-time great and one of the league's newest stars have the opportunity to be on the same team for the first time since the 2017 All-Star Game.
In 2018, the first year that a draft selection was used to determine teams, Antetokounmpo was drafted by Stephen Curry, going on to lose by three points to Team LeBron. The next two years, both James and Antetokounmpo were captains of the game's two squads.
With Durant replacing the back-to-back MVP as a team captain this year, there's a chance that James and Antetokounmpo will link up again. When they played together as Eastern Conference All-Stars in 2017, as starters alongside Irving, DeMar DeRozan and Jimmy Butler, they fell to a loaded Western Conference squad by 10 points.
When the Lakers faced the Bucks back on Jan. 21, L.A. won 113-106, paced by 34 points from James. Antetokounmpo dropped 25 in the contest.
Together, they'd help dominate Team Durant.
Will A Lack Of Interest Bond Players Together?
In a unique season, many players have expressed their frustration with the league's decision to hold the All-Star Game in the first place.
While the NBA has made changes to the format of the game, moving the Skills Challenge to pregame and swapping a halftime show for the Slam Dunk Contest, it ultimately decided the show would go on regarding the main event.
That was much to the chagrin of several players who were selected to make an appearance. James said he has "zero energy and zero excitement" about an event that he doesn't "understand why we're having" (h/t Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times).
Antetokounmpo said he feels "the same way" as James, and Leonard said he feels the game is just the league "putting money over health" as it tries to complete a season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, (h/t the Associated Press).
If they're playing anyway, perhaps James will organize the vocal anti-All-Stars together on the same team.