LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo drafted their All-Star squads on Thursday night. The pair of team captains hopped onto TNT, and with an assist from Ernie Johnson, went through the list of starters, reserves, and special additions to build their rosters for the festivities in Charlotte next weekend.
Both of the teams are very good, which makes sense, because it’s an All-Star Game. Some people did, however, point out that Team LeBron is littered with players who will likely end up being unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2018-19 season. That doesn’t even include his first pick among the reserves, Anthony Davis, whose selection led to Antetokounmpo jokingly asking James if ending up with him was “tampering.”
James was asked about this on Saturday and chalked it up to a coincidence, pointing out that his roster has a bunch of players with varying contract situations.
“I think that’s a great conversation,” James said about picking a number of upcoming free agents. “Everyone kind of gets up for fantasy basketball talk — guys that are restricted free agents, that are free agents, that have, I don’t know, player options, things of that nature. That’s all part of the speculation that continues to drive our sport. It’s all good and well and dandy, but for me, I picked according to my draft board and I picked according to who was the best available.”
Of course, it’s a bit silly to imagine that James constructed an All-Star team with the sole hope of convincing dudes to come to the Lakers this offseason, but with how hungry Los Angeles is to acquire a star alongside James, the jokes were bound to get made.