The NBA All-Star Draft took place on Thursday, as LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo picked their squads for the upcoming game. Many are wondering if James sent a message during the draft.
James, who clearly wound up with the better team, might have made five of his first six picks with this summer on his mind. The Lakers have room to sign or trade for other superstars.
James’ first pick was Kevin Durant, who has a player option after this season and can opt to become a free agent. His next two picks – Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard – are in the same situation.
James Harden, his fourth pick, is under contract with the Houston Rockets and unavailable. But his next two picks are Anthony Davis, who requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, and Klay Thompson, who will be a free agent.
While the Lakers likely won’t get most of these guys, even landing one would be a huge deal.
The biggest wild card is likely Durant. If he feels satisfied with his time with the Warriors, he could opt to leave and start afresh with a different franchise. If that happens, it would set off a chain reaction in the NBA.
The Lakers failed to acquire Davis before the trade deadline, so it looks like they’re going to have to try to make the playoffs with LeBron as the lone star. It’ll be interesting to see if they can get it done.
The All-Star game and surrounding festivities will take place next weekend.