- LeBron James drafted his All-Star roster on Thursday night, putting together an impressive group of players to take on Team Giannis.
- Five of James’ six picks shared one peculiar trait – they’d be available to potentially join the Lakers next season.
- We won’t know who teams up with James in Los Angeles until the 2019 offseason, but it’s clear that LeBron has the future of the franchise on his mind.
The rosters for the NBA All-Star game are set.
On Thursday night, team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo made their picks for the 2019 All-Star Game, building out two impressive rosters of talent.
James and Antetokounmpo were supposed to be drafting to give themselves the best chance of winning the bragging rights that a victory in the All-Star Game comes with, but just a few picks into the draft, it became clear that LeBron might have an ulterior motive while picking his teammates – bringing them to the Los Angeles Lakers.
As ESPN Stats & Info noted, LeBron used five of his first six picks in the All-Star draft to select players who could wind up with James and the Lakers in the near future.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 8, 2019
It’s no secret that since James’ move to the Lakers in the 2018 offseason, the team has been looking to pair him with another superstar to make a run at a title. Leading up to the trade deadline, it appeared Los Angeles was close to pulling off a trade for Anthony Davis, so much so that Antetokounmpo ribbed James during the draft about the issue.
But James’ selections in the All-Star draft show that Davis isn’t the only superstar that might head out west to join the Lakers next season. Aside from Harden, who will remain in Houston for the foreseeable future, any one of James’ top six picks could wind up in purple and gold next year.
Kawhi Leonard has been strongly speculated to prefer Los Angeles as their next destination, and Davis has outright said it. Beyond that, is it possible that a west coast reunion is in order for James and Kyrie Irving? Or that Klay Thompson prefers a change of scenery and avoiding a potential pay cut without leaving the state of California?
We won’t know until the 2019 offseason finally rolls around, but it’s clear that James’ All-Star team wasn’t the only roster he was thinking about while drafting.
- Read more NBA trade deadline coverage:
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