After years of noncompetitive All-Star Games — and a talent imbalance that has put the majority of the league’s best players in the Western Conference — the NBA announced Tuesday that the 2018 All-Star Game would have a new format. Gone is the East versus West of years past, replaced with a schoolyard-style pickup draft to fill out the rosters.
The league hasn’t announced full details of how the draft will work (Will it be alternating pick or snake? Will there be any positional restrictions on the rosters?), but here’s the current info we have:
- The player pool itself will be chosen in the same way as before. Fans, media and players will vote to select five starters from each conference, then coaches will select the seven reserves from the East and West. This means there will still likely be some deserving stars from the West who get left off, while less accomplished players from the East make the roster.
- The top vote-getter from each conference will serve as a captain for his team, and draft his 11 teammates from the selected player pool.
- The captains will select their starters from the voted-in starters with the first four picks each, then will move on to the reserve pool. This ensures that the players the fans (and media and players) choose as the starters will start the game.
To show what the first NBA All-Star playground-style player draft might look like, Kevin Pelton supplied the projected 12-man All-Star rosters for each conference, and will serve as captain ” Stephen Curry” for this draft, with Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight.com/ESPN.com playing the role of LeBron James?and making the first overall pick.
On to the draft!
Drafting the starters
1. TEAM LEBRON SELECTS:? Russell Westbrook
2. TEAM STEPH SELECTS:? Kevin Durant
Chris Herring: Kevin Durant is seemingly the no-brainer pick here, but part of me thinks LeBron enjoys playing against Durant and would choose that over playing with him — even in an exhibition setting. What better…