The United Center in Chicago, Illinois will welcome the 2020 class of NBA All-Stars. Voting ended, and the starters for the February 16th game were announced last Thursday. Thursday evening, during the live All-Star Draft Show on TNT, the NBA coaches named 14 reserves.
LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will fill their respective rosters from this group of players in a draft held on February 6, and the two teams will be set. Let’s take a look at how each of the 2020 NBA All Star players was thought of in their year’s NBA draft results.
Here is the NBA draft result for each of the 2020 all-stars, including reserves. We’ll tell you where each player was selected during that year’s draft and add some interesting information about how they got to where they are today.
As per previous years, the 10 starters were selected by vote. NBA fans comprised one-half the vote, with players and the media making splitting the other 50 percent evenly. The rosters are composed of two backcourt players and three who play predominately in the front court.
Eastern Conference Starters
Giannis Antetokounmpo – This will be the Greek Freaks fourth consecutive appearance in the mid-season game. It is his second as a team captain. Antetokounmpo is one of only four members from the 2013 NBA draft class to have been picked as an all star.
He’s joined by one other 2013 draft pick in this year’s game. An ironic tidbit of information is that there were 14 players taken ahead of Antetokounmpo. His full value was realized last year, his sixth in the league, when he earned All-NBA team honors, plus won the MVP award.
Kemba Walker – Like Antetokounmpo, Walker is making his fourth straight NBA All Star appearance. Walker was taken in the draft two years before his all-star team captain. The former University of Connecticut star was the ninth player selected.
This is Walker’s first appearance in the all-star game as the point guard for the Boston Celtics. His three previous all-star games were as a Charlotte Hornet, the team that drafted him in 2011.
Joel Embiid – The Philadelphia 76ers are one of four teams that landed two players in the all-star game from the Eastern Conference. Embiid will make his third consecutive appearance.
The big man from Kentucky was the third player snagged off the draft board in 2014. His popularity as a member of the 76ers was certainly a key in his selection as a starter. As a front court player, Embiid isn’t in the top-50 this season for rebounding.
Trae Young– Young will be the other backcourt player matched with Walker. This is Young’s first all-star game appearance. Dallas picked the former Oklahoma Sooner fifth in 2018. However, he never suited up for the Mavs.
Young’s pick was traded, along with future picks considerations, for another 2020 NBA All-Star, Luka Dončić. The Atlanta Hawk guard is third in points per game, ironically only a half-point ahead of his draft class mate Dončić.
Pascal Siakam – The final member of the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference is the second player on the first five playing his first all-star game. Siakam is a member of the defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, who drafted him 27th overall in 2016.
After winning the Most Improved Player award in 2019, the Cameroonian power forward will make his first all-star start. Along with Embiid, he makes two players from Cameroon on the Eastern Conference starting five.
Western Conference Starters
There are a couple of interesting features about the Western Conference starting five. One player has made more appearances than the entire Eastern Conference first unit combined. There are also two members from the same team and three from the same NBA city. Here are the five Western Conference starters and their draft history.
Luka Dončić – As we mentioned, Dončić was traded for one of his 2020 All-Star game opponents. The Hawks took Dončić with the third pick. Dallas coveted him so much, they were willing to give the Hawks Trae Young, plus a protected first-round draft pick.
After bursting onto the scene in the Euro League in 2016, his stock rose when he won the league MVP award while playing for Real Madrid. While he has ten fewer double-doubles on the season, Dončić leads the NBA with a dozen triple-doubles heading into the all-star break.
James Harden – Dončić’s partner in the Western Conference starting backcourt will be making his eighth consecutive all-star appearance. James Harden was another lottery pick, taken third overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009.
Harden has claimed the last two NBA scoring titles and is currently working on his third. If the Houston Rocket sharpshooter can maintain his current per game average, it will be the highest total since the late-great Kobe Bryant’s 35.4 points-per-game 14 seasons ago.
LeBron James – Usually regarded as currently the best basketball player on the planet, James will be making his 16th all-star appearance. James will also be a team captain for the third consecutive season, ever since the new team-captain format was started in 2018. LeBron James was the first player chosen in the 2003 draft.
He spent the early part of his career with Cleveland, the team who selected him. James went to Miami, where he began his string of NBA Finals appearances that wasn’t broken until last season. He is making his second all-star start as a Los Angeles Laker.
Anthony Davis – Joining James will be his new teammate Anthony Davis. Davis is making his seventh straight appearance, the first six as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. Davis is also the second Western Conference player to have been a number one overall pick.
The former Kentucky Wildcats’ center is currently in the top-20 in the league in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots. He was picked as part of the Rising Stars Challenge his rookie season, so Davis has been part of the NBA All Star weekend since he first came into the league.
Kawhi Leonard – The final member of the starting group from the Western Conference is the second defending champion that will start the game. However, Kawhi Leonard is no longer a member of the Toronto Raptors.
Like Antetokounmpo, Leonard is the second all-star starter who was not an NBA lottery pick. He is also another player who was traded on draft night. Leonard was drafted by the Indiana Pacers at number 15 overall. But, he was sent with two other players to San Antonio for George Hill.
Thursday evening, the NBA coaches completed the roster by selecting 14 reserves. From these 14 players, James and Antetokounmpo will fill out their team rosters. Here’s where these final 14 all-stars landed in their draft class.
Eastern Conference Reserves
Jimmy Butler – Jimmy Butler almost slipped down to the second round of the 2011 draft. The Chicago Bulls made the former Marquette Golden Eagle the final selection of the first round.
Bam Adebayo – The Miami Heat big man will be making is first all-star appearance. He was the final lottery pick in 2017, taken 14th overall by his current team.
Ben Simmons – Simmons is another piece of The Process in Philadelphia. He was the number-one overall pick in the 2016 draft. During his single season at LSU, Simmons’ 43-point effort was the most since former Tiger Shaquille O’Neal.
Khris Middleton – Middleton will join teammate and captain Antetokounmpo for his second consecutive all-star appearance. He is the first of only two current all-star players who were not first-round draft picks.
Kyle Lowry – Like Leonard and Siakam, Lowery was a member of last year’s NBA Champion Raptors. Lowery is with his third team, drafted at the 24th spot in the 2006 draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. In the middle, he played four seasons in Houston. He has made the all-star game his last six seasons with Toronto.
Domantas Sabonis – Sabonis is yet another highly drafted player who never played a minute for the team that selected him. Orlando took him with the 11th overall pick, but traded away a future all-star along with two other players.
Jayson Tatum – The final Eastern Conference reserve is the fifth from the conference, making his first all-star appearance. The former Duke Blue Devil was the third overall pick taken by the Boston Celtics in 2017.
Western Conference Reserves
Nikola Jokić – Jokić is a second-time all-star, also the second who was not drafted in the first round. Denver managed to get the all-star big man with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 draft. Along with Middleton, Jokić is one of only two all-stars not drafted in the first round.
Damian Lillard – Lillard is still with the Portland Trail Blazers, who made them the sixth overall pick in 2012. He is playing his fifth all-star game.
Rudy Gobert – Nicknamed the Stifle Tower for his massive wingspan, the Frenchman was taken late in the first-round in 2013. Part of yet another draft-night trade, Gobert was shipped to his current NBA team, the Utah Jazz.
Brandon Ingram – Brandon Ingram is making his first all-star game appearance. He was part of a trade package that sent fellow all-star Anthony Davis to the Lakers. Ingram was selected second overall pick by Los Angeles in the 2016 draft.
Chris Paul – Paul is the second first-round pick that was taken by the New Orleans franchise. He was selected fourth overall out of Wake Forest in the 2005 draft. Paul is making his 10th all-star game appearance, with an All-Star MVP award in 2013.
Donovan Mitchell – Mitchell was selected in 2017 using Denver’s first-round pick. He was taken 13th overall, but traded away to Utah for two players. It is one of the more intriguing draft night trades in recent NBA draft memory.
Russell Westbrook – The final member of the 2020 NBA All-Star class was the last draft pick by the Seattle Supersonics. Seattle took Westbrook fourth overall in the 2008 NBA draft result, then packed him and his teammates up and moved to Oklahoma City six days after the draft.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will split up these all-star players into two teams for the big game on February 16. Nine players will be making their first all-star game appearance.
There is a great deal of experience on the players from the Western Conference over their opposition. Four players from the West have made more appearances than the entire group of 12 out of the Eastern Conference.
Out of the 24 players, 16 were lottery picks and all but two were taken in the first round. Six 2020 NBA All-Stars never even played a minute for the team that drafted them, traded away on draft night. However, one thing is clear looking at this year’s cast of players.
If a player wasn’t part of the final NBA draft results on draft night in the NBA, you’re probably a long shot to earn a spot in the annual all-star game. Very few are the roster spots held by undrafted NBA players on any team, and even fewer are the trips to the league’s ultimate all-star showcase.