And this year we’re getting a switch up for dramatic effect: the All-Star Game Draft will take place immediately before the start of the action.
The @NBA and @TheNBPA announced today that TNT will air the 2023 NBA All-Star Draft as a new, live pregame segment at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET from Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. pic.twitter.com/heWwh4k8MR— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 25, 2023
The All-Star Draft was implemented in 2018, the first year that the NBA moved away from the East vs. West format (though players are still chosen for the game based on their conference). The leading vote getters in each conference were named captains, with Warriors guard Steph Curry and then Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James being named inaugural captains. They drafted from the pool of All-Star selections, though the event was not made public.
After hearing fans, media members, and players alike clamor to have the draft made public, the NBA adjusted in 2019, with James — who by now was on the Los Angeles Lakers — and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo partaking in the first televised draft. The drama reached a head a year ago, when James and former Warriors star Kevin Durant were captains and both tried like hell to avoid drafting James Harden.
Now the league is taking it a step further. The NBA is going full playground style, and drafting the players in person, immediately before the game. This should be all kinds of fun, especially if some humor or drama pops up again, such as the Harden situation or the annual tradition of trying not to draft Rudy Gobert (who is unlikely to make the All-Star Game this season).
For the Warriors, Curry will surely be a part of the All-Star festivities, but it’s doubtful that he’ll be joined by any of his teammates (unless it’s for All-Star Saturday shenanigans). Andrew Wiggins’ extended absence likely will keep him out of consideration, as will Klay Thompson’s slow start to the season. I maintain that Draymond Green is an All-Star caliber player, but I doubt a defense-first player averaging 8.0 points per game can make the team when the Warriors are only winning half their games. A year ago they were running through the league, which netted them three All-Stars (Curry, Wiggins, and Green), but not this season.
Curry won’t, however, be a captain. James is a lock to represent the West, while the latest voting returns suggest that Durant and Antetokounmpo are in a close race to represent the East.
All-Star starters are voted on by the fans, who have 50% of the vote, as well as the media and the players, who each have 25% of the vote. The coaches select the reserves. Each conference gets two backcourt players and three frontcourt players in the starting lineup, as well as two backcourt players, three frontcourt players, and two additional players regardless of position for the bench. Injury replacements are selected by commissioner Adam Silver.