They may face long odds to ever becoming teammates, but Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James will again get to share the court in an NBA All-Star Game. James got the first pick among the pool of starters by nature of being the league's leading vote-getter, while Antetokounmpo got the first pick once it time to pick reserves. TNT's Ernie Johnson asked LeBron if he'd like to have AD as his teammate and LeBron said he definitely would.
Antetokounmpo asked James, "Isn't that tampering?"
It took a trade, but Paul George and Russell Westbrook will both play for Team Giannis in the All-Star game.
"Kevin Durant", Antetokounmpo said.
Giannis's team features other starters Paul George, Joel Embiid, Kemba Walker and Stephen Curry; the reserves are Khris Middleton, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, D'Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle Lowry and Dirk Nowitzky.
Five out of James's first six selections will all hit the free agency market in 2019: his first pick, Kevin Durant; his second pick, Kyrie Irving; his third pick, Kawhi Leonard; Davis, who was his fifth pick and first reserve selection and Klay Thompson, the sixth pick on James's Team Tamper. "Now I have to go into shuffle mode now".
True to draft form, the opportunity to trade then resulted in James and Antetokounmpo trading Simmons (who James referred to as "his guy") for Russell Westbrook. The NBA signed off on the trade. James pulled a fast one on fans, pretending to select Nowitzki before eventually going with his longtime friend.
Antetokounmpo added Dirk Nowitzki as his special selection.
Antetokounmpo was pretty happy with his slick move: "I'm playing mind games", he jokingly said. "I'm going with my buddy, Dwyane Wade".
Now holding the best record in all of the league, it's just the latest indication that the Bucks have set their sights on going for it all this year and getting a player of Mirotic's caliber stood as one of the biggest takeaways on the day.
This year's trade deadline has come and gone and the Bucks were one of many teams that worked the phones as they completed a three-team deal between the Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans that reportedly netted them veteran forward Nikola Mirotic late Thursday morning/early afternoon.
It was the second year of the captain's-choice format.