The Los Angeles and Brooklyn Nets are loaded with star talent.
In total, the two teams enter the 2021-22 NBA season with 13 players who have been named an All-Star at least once in their NBA careers.
As NBA.com’s Benyam Kidane recently detailed, the Los Angeles Lakers have a combined 57 All-Star selections on their roster, which happens to be the most in NBA history. The Nets have a combined 44 All-Star selections, putting them behind only these Lakers and 2010-11 Boston Celtics (56) for the most ever.
Since a number of the players on the Lakers and Nets are no longer All-Stars, two members of our NBA.com Staff held a fantasy draft featuring the prime versions of the 13 All-Stars.
Where did three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard land? What about 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony? Which one of James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook were first off the board?
Let’s find out…
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles) got the No. 1 pick and Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_) got the No. 2 pick.
We did a snake draft, so the order flipped after each round.
While there are 13 All-Stars on the Lakers and Nets, you’ll notice that 14 players were selected, that way each roster is made up of seven players. Whoever got the last pick in the draft was allowed to select anyone of their choosing who is currently on the Lakers or Nets.
1. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Team Rafferty)
2. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (Team Irving)
3. Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers (Team Irving)
4. James Harden, Brooklyn Nets (Team Rafferty)
5. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (Team Rafferty)
6. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers (Team Irving)
7. Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles Lakers (Team Irving)
8. Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets (Team Rafferty)
9. Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets (Team Rafferty)
10. Rajon Rondo, Los Angeles Lakers (Team Irving)
11. LaMarcus Aldridge, Brooklyn Nets (Team Irving)
12. Paul Millsap, Brooklyn Nets (Team Rafferty)
13. DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Lakers (Team Rafferty)
14. Patty Mills, Brooklyn Nets (Team Irving)
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: James Harden
SF: LeBron James
PF: Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap
C: Anthony Davis, DeAndre Jordan
What’s not to like about this team?
Leading the charge is LeBron James, a man whose career is worthy of GOAT consideration. Sharing the backcourt with him is Kyrie Irving and James Harden. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, but Irving and LeBron were basically unstoppable as teammates in Cleveland, and Harden has plenty of experience playing with other stars. Not only did he start his career on the same team as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, but the Nets were scary good with Harden, Durant and Irving on the court together last season.
Plus, the three of them are basketball geniuses. I’m pretty confident that they could make it work.
At center, I went with Anthony Davis instead of Dwight Howard. Dominant as peak Howard was defensively — this is your reminder that Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace are the only players in NBA history with more Defensive Player of the Year trophies — I like the versatility Davis brings on both ends of the court. Offensively, he gives me another capable shooter and a dynamic lob threat next to Irving, Harden and LeBron. Defensively, he’s a rim protector who has the mobility to also defend the perimeter.
Let’s just hope Davis is cool with being a full-time center.
Next to Davis in the frontcourt is Blake Griffin. I probably don’t need to remind you what peak Blake Griffin looked like, but need you be reminded…
✈️🔥 INCREDIBLE! One of the best in-game dunkers of all-time? Sit back and enjoy Blake Griffin’s top dunks! pic.twitter.com/51S4GtA68q
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) July 25, 2017
Something tells me Harden and LeBron would have a lot of fun running pick-and-rolls with Griffin.
Off the bench are Paul Millsap and DeAndre Jordan, a duo with two All-Defensive First Team selections and one All-Defensive Second Team selection to their names. The last thing I needed was more playmaking, so they tie everything together nicely for Team Rafferty.
Good luck stopping this team.
PG: Rajon Rondo, Patty Mills
SG: Russell Westbrook
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Dwight Howard
At a quick glance, it might look like Team Rafferty would run away with this one, but don’t count my squad out.
With the No. 2 pick, Kevin Durant was the obvious selection as one of the most talented scorers in NBA history, but the No. 3 pick is where things got difficult. There’s a strong case to be made that I should’ve gone with James Harden, but Durant provides enough scoring. Adding a multi-faceted talent with the heart of a lion in Russell Westbrook, I essentially made the same decision Oklahoma City’s front office had to make back in 2012.
That didn’t result in bringing a championship to the Thunder franchise, but they were “Game 6 Klay” away from making a second NBA Finals appearance and, possibly, an NBA title.
With my next selection, I elected to shore up my frontcourt with the best defender in this group in Dwight Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and five-time rebounding champion. People seem to forget how dominant Howard was from 2006 to 2014, and I don’t think center AD wants anything to do with prime Dwight.
In need of some shooting, I could have gone with Kyrie Irving, but I couldn’t pass up on Carmelo Anthony, who averaged over 20 points per game for the first 14 years of his career. Imagine trying to defend prime KD and prime Melo on the same team. Good luck.
To round out my starting five, I elected to take Rajon Rondo, who would have a field day feeding the two aforementioned bucket-getters, as well as having Howard as a lob threat. Don’t forget that Rondo was also a four-time All-Defensive Team member – two of which were First Team selections – and a steals champion during his prime, capable of locking up Irving in Team Rafferty’s backcourt.
After that, LaMarcus Aldridge seemed like a no-brainer over Paul Millsap and DeAndre Jordan. I also had the wild card pick in being able to select any member of the current Lakers or Nets rosters, in which I added some much-needed shooting to my backcourt in scoring guard Patty Mills.
Even if Team Rafferty looks like the favourite on paper, I like how we match up on the court.
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