2022 NBA All-Star mock draft

Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo at 2021 NBA All-Star Game
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
0 Comments

We did a Rising Stars mock draft.

Of course we’re doing an All-Star mock draft.

LeBron James (represented by Kurt Helin) gets the first pick in the starters round, because he led the NBA in fan voting (LeBron, not Kurt.) Kevin Durant (represented by Dan Feldman), has the first pick in the reserves round. Because Durant is not playing due to injury, he gets the last two starters on the board.

To the draft…

STARTERS

1. LeBron: Stephen Curry (Warriors)

As LeBron, my first instinct is to pick someone I want to recruit to my team to play with me and Bronny in a few years. Thing is, I know I’m not getting any of these guys anytime soon, so I will take Curry.

2. Durant: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)

I can’t believe he fell to me. Did you see what he did in last year’s All-Star game? More importantly, did you see what he did to us in last year’s playoffs? Give me the Greek Freak.

3. LeBron: Joel Embiid (76ers)

I need a center and nobody is hotter in the league right right now. Plus he can defend the rim… oh, who am I kidding, we’re not going to play defense until the fourth quarter/Elam Ending part. If then.

4. Durant: Ja Morant (Grizzlies)

I’m glad you took Embiid. My only instructions from management: Don’t let James spend the weekend palling around with Embiid. Instead, give me the most special point guard I’ve seen since Kyrie Irving.

5. LeBron: Jayson Tatum (Celtics)

I need a wing, and Tatum may have been bumped up to the starters to replace you (KD) but he’s earned the spot as someone who can score from all three levels. Plus Boston fans love it when their star can be side-by-side with a Laker.

6. Durant: Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)

Jokic can score inside, outside and in between. His court vision is phenomenal. Ideally, he’ll wear down Embiid.

7. LeBron: DeMar DeRozan (Bulls)

We all know All-Star Games are won from the midrange… well, maybe this one can be.

8 & 9. Durant: Trae Young (Hawks) & Andrew Wiggins (Warriors)

So, LeBron basically gets the first two picks (himself and Stephen Curry), and to compensate for my injury, I get the two starters he doesn’t want? That’s “f***ed up.”

RESERVES

10. Durant: James Harden (Nets)

I reserve the right to change this pick until 3 p.m. Thursday.

11. LeBron: Chris Paul (Suns)

No way I am passing up the godfather to my sons, plus he’s a pretty good point guard.

12. Durant: Devin Booker (Suns)

I’d rather have Phoenix’s top scorer, anyway. Booker gets buckets and plays with a bit of a nasty streak.

13. LeBron: Luka Doncic (Mavericks)

Now that he has played his way into shape, Doncic has the perfect skill set to thrive in this game.

14. Durant: Zach LaVine (Bulls)

My Olympic buddy. LaVine is a pure shooter who can score from anywhere, and I don’t have to tell you about his athleticism at All-Star Weekend.

15. LeBron: Jimmy Butler (Heat)

I love him, had great playoff battles with him, and he is the guy who could have been on the banana boat with me and the guys.

16. Durant: Khris Middleton (Bucks)

Kyrie will be upset I didn’t get Butler. If you’re wondering why I keep drafting wings this round, it’s because my starting lineup doesn’t include a single All-Star-caliber wing.

17. LeBron: Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)

In no way am I recruiting a player rumored to have misgivings about his franchise on some level. I’m just taking his offensive-minded skill set and watching him thrive in this setting.

18. Durant: Fred VanVleet (Raptors)

My buddy Drake keeps telling me how good this guy is.

19. LeBron: LaMelo Ball (Hornets)

It’s an exhibition, it’s a show, so let’s go with the best showman left on the board, if not the best in the game. Also, didn’t I play with his brother or something?

20. Durant: Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)

I can’t let Mitchell fall to the last picks again. He didn’t deserve that.

21. LeBron: Dejounte Murray (Spurs)

My friend Gregg Popovich told me to draft this kid, and I listen to that man.

22. Durant: Darius Garland (Cavaliers)

I can absolutely let Rudy fall to the last pick again. Especially to get the home-team star

23. LeBron: Rudy Gobert (Jazz)

Is he even in NBA 2K? I never play as the Jazz, I don’t know.

ROSTERS

Team LeBron

  • Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  • DeMar DeRozan (Bulls)
  • Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  • LeBron James (Lakers)
  • Joel Embiid (76ers)
  • Chris Paul (Suns)
  • Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
  • Jimmy Butler (Heat)
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)
  • LaMelo Ball (Hornets)
  • Dejounte Murray (Spurs)
  • Rudy Gobert (Jazz)

It’s an All-Star Game, both teams are loaded with talent, and it comes down to which team is less hungover just wants it more. My team has plenty of playmakers, guys who can score, and while I have three centers two of them are legit threats from beyond the arc. When it gets to the Elam ending, if it’s close, I have guys who can actually play good defense, and I think that gets me the win. Well, if my guys decide to care that day.

Team Durant

  • Ja Morant (Grizzlies)
  • Trae Young (Hawks)
  • Andrew Wiggins (Warriors)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
  • Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
  • James Harden (Nets)
  • Devin Booker (Suns)
  • Zach LaVine (Bulls)
  • Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  • Fred VanVleet (Raptors)
  • Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  • Darius Garland (Cavaliers)

It’s just too hard for Team Durant to overcome missing Kevin Durant. Instead of our best player, we got whomever LeBron valued less of Young and Wiggins.

With an all-guard-and-wing bench, we will go small whenever Jokic or Antetokounmpo sit, let alone both. But that can work in an exhibition like this, where rebounds are less contested and the rim is barely protected, anyway. This undersized group has the skill to push the tempo, bomb 3-pointers and pull an upset.

At least I drafted better than last time?