The Nets may have three NBA All-Stars for the primary time of their historical past. And regardless of the quirks of the format, they’ll find yourself collectively on Group Durant.
The highest vote-getter and captain of the Japanese Convention, Kevin Durant — who’s injured and can miss the sport — chosen his Brooklyn teammates Kyrie Irving and James Harden in Thursday’s NBA All-Star Draft. He additionally tabbed Knicks ahead Julius Randle with the fifth decide within the second spherical, giving his group a New York taste.
The All-Star recreation will happen Sunday in Atlanta.
As the highest general vote-getter, Lakers star LeBron James had the highest decide within the first spherical, comprised of the starters, no matter convention. He tabbed Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two-time reigning MVP. That left Durant free to take Irving with the second decide.
“With the second decide within the 2021 NBA All-Star Draft, I’m going to pick Kyrie Irving,” Durant mentioned. He additionally had the highest decide of the second spherical, a pool comprised of the reserves. Since Irving had edged out Harden within the Japanese Convention voting, the latter was obtainable to get scooped up by Durant.
“I imply it is a fairly apparent decide,” Durant admitted. “He performs for the Brooklyn Nets; I’m going to go along with James Harden.”
Durant and Irving got here to the Nets collectively in June 2019, though Durant missed all of final season recovering from Achilles surgical procedure. After including Harden — who’s having an MVP-caliber season — the Nets (23-14) entered the break only a half-game out of first place within the Japanese Convention. However Durant may even miss Sunday’s All-Star Sport with a left hamstring pressure that’s pressured him to take a seat out the final 9 straight for Brooklyn.
Group James will likely be highlighted by not solely the Lakers star, but in addition the Greek Freak Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic.
Group Durant additionally added Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum — who changed the injured Durant as a starter — and Randle.
“This man goes loopy this yr, first-time All-Star, Julius Randle,” Durant mentioned in deciding on the Knick.
Randle entered Thursday averaging a career-high 23.1 factors — together with 41.2 % from behind the arc — 10.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists in a breakthrough marketing campaign. He had helped the Knicks to an 18-18 mark getting into Thursday’s recreation towards Detroit and a shocking fifth-place standing within the East underneath Tom Thibodeau.