Thursday night was the first ever live televised NBA All-Star draft, and it was about as entertaining as everyone anticipated. LeBron James went about assembling a roster of 2019 free agents, basically using the festivities in Charlotte as an open audition for who he wants to join him in Los Angeles.
Tampering? Not an issue for All-Star weekend.
JUST A CASUAL JOKEpic.twitter.com/MYkrIFpvNf— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 8, 2019
For a few minutes, it looked like Sixers teammates Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would remain on the same side for the All-Star game. Embiid was taken fourth overall by Team Giannis, following Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Kyrie Irving. Simmons was also nabbed by Giannis, selected fifth among the reserves, after Khris Middleton, Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, and Klay Thompson.
However, LeBron did not seem happy to miss out on his Klutch Sports mentee, quickly rectifying the situation by trading Russell Westbrook to Team Giannis for Simmons.
Where was @wojespn on that one huh?— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) February 8, 2019
So Embiid and Simmons will face off against each other, and with Westbrook now on Team Giannis, we won’t get to see the next chapter in the Embiid-Westbrook rivalry.
Russell Westbrook just took the biggest L of the season I cannot believe what I just saw. Embiid stared him back to AAU. pic.twitter.com/lKGpiwUbtx— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 28, 2018
The full rosters are listed below. Safe to say the All-Star draft was a success — kudos to the NBA for adding yet another fun event to the overall fan experience.
Here are the complete All-Star rosters for Team LeBron and Team Giannis (after their finalized trade): pic.twitter.com/seH2LjPTdf— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 8, 2019