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NBA All-Star Draft: How it all works

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The NBA All-Star Game, which dates back to 1951, has always been a midseason showdown between the best players from each conference. From Magic Johnson and Hakeem Olajuwon teaming up to represent the West to Allen Iverson and LeBron James joining forces to lead the East, the game has consistently showcased a copious amount of talent playing for their respective coast.

In 2017, however, the NBA decided a change to one of the league’s main events was needed. 

Following a wave of non-competitive All-Star games — including blowout victories, uninspired defense and high-scoring affairs — alternative options began to be explored. As a result, the traditional roster selection method vanished and a new format was introduced.

An NBA All-Star draft.

How it works

Two captains go back and forth drafting from a pool of 22 players that were voted as All-Stars, picking starters first and reserves next. Each selection is made without regard for conference affiliation. The captains are the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.

The idea was initiated by NBPA president Chris Paul, who reached out to Commissioner Adam Silver about revamping the format. It became implemented during the 2018 All-Star Game.

The “backyard-basketball” style adds a different form of intrigue, balance and creativity (such as captains trading their draft picks). Teams also play for community-based organizations now, with donations directed toward outreach efforts that benefit the All-Star host city.  

 

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo draft their 2019 All-Star teams, televised on TNT.

Voting

Conference affiliation still matters when it comes to voting, with 12 players from both the East and West earning spots. The 10 starters – two guards and three frontcourt players per conference – are chosen by a combination of fans (50 percent of the vote), current players (25 percent) and basketball media (25 percent). The players and media were granted a vote in 2017 – only fans selected the startling lineup before then. 

The 30 NBA coaches select the 14 reserves, voting for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players at any position in their respective conferences. 

Commissioner Silver selects the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Silver’s selection would join the team that drafted the replaced player. The commissioner also has the power to create a special roster addition, which he did for the first time in 2019.

Each All-Star Game coach leads the team that includes the captain from their same conference. The way the head coaches are determined is via a best-record scenario, meaning coaches whose teams are first in their respective conferences two weeks before the All-Star Game earn the nod (a coach can’t participate for two years in a row, however). 

Televised

The draft was held off camera during its inaugural session, but became televised in 2019. James and Giannis Antetokounmpo made their selections live on TNT, and at one point, agreed to a trade. James sent Russell Westbrook to Team Giannis, while Antetokounmpo sent Ben Simmons to Team LeBron.

Past Captains

2019: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo | Full roster | Draft results: Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis
2018: LeBron James, Stephen Curry | Full roster | Draft results: Team LeBron vs. Team Steph

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Spurs promote Buford to CEO; Wright to serve as GM

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Spurs Sports & Entertainment has promoted two-time NBA executive of the year RC Buford to chief executive officer, effective Sept. 3.

Buford is credited along with coach Gregg Popovich for building the Spurs into one of the most consistently successful franchises in sports, with five NBA championships since 1999 and 22 consecutive playoff appearances. Popovich is returning this fall for his 24th season.

Buford started his current run with the Spurs in 1994 and has climbed the ranks, including being named general manager in 2002 and his promotion to president of sports franchises in 2008.

The Spurs also said Tuesday that Brian Wright will serve as GM after three years as an assistant and Lori Warren and Bobby Perez have been elevated to executive vice president roles. Longtime executives Rick Pych and Lawrence Payne will transition to advisory roles.

On Monday, the Spurs said former NBA MVP Tim Duncan will join the Spurs as an assistant coach this season.

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Suns sign forward/center Cheick Diallo

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PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns today signed forward/center Cheick Diallo (pronounced Sheck Dee-ALL-oh) to a multiyear contract.

Diallo, 22 years old, has played three NBA seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans and this past season averaged career highs of 6.0 points and 5.2 rebounds in 14.0 minutes while making 62.0% of his field goals. Following the All-Star break in 2018-19, he averaged 8.9 points and 7.6 rebounds on 63.6% shooting from the field and 84.0% from the free throw line with eight double-doubles in 23 games, including a career-high 18 boards plus 16 points on Feb. 22 at Indiana. On a per-36 minute basis, Diallo holds career averages of 15.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

A 6-9, 220-pound forward/center, Diallo also measures a 7-5 wingspan and a 9-0 standing reach. He was originally the 33rd overall selection in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft by the LA Clippers following one season at the University of Kansas. New Orleans acquired Diallo in a draft night trade and he played in 133 regular season games with the Pelicans in addition to seven postseason appearances during the team’s run to the 2018 Western Conference Semifinals.

Born in Kayes, Mali, Diallo began playing basketball at age 13 and moved to the United States as a 15-year-old in 2012 to pursue his career. He attended Our Savior New American High School in Centereach, New York, where he was a national top-ten recruit, two-time New York Gatorade Player of the Year, MVP of the 2015 McDonald’s All-American Game and Co-MVP of the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic. Last year, Diallo represented Mali by playing for Team Africa at the NBA Africa Game 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. He is the second player in NBA history to have been born in Mali (Soumaila Samake).

Diallo will wear uniform No. 14 with the Suns. The Suns’ roster now stands at 15 players; an updated roster is attached.

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2020 NBA Free Agents | NBA.com

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Former All-Stars Draymond Green and Anthony Davis could hit the market in the summer of 2020. Who else might join the duo? Scroll down for some of the bigger 2020 names who could be looking for a new team. To view the complete list of current 2019 free agents, go to NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker.

For a refresher on free agency terminology (Unrestricted, Restricted, Player Option and more), check out our Free Agency Explainer page.

Notable Players Who Are Potential 2020 Free Agents

Unrestricted
Kyle Lowry
Draymond Green

Restricted
Jaylen Brown
Brandon Ingram
Pascal Siakam
Domantas Sabonis

Player Option
DeMar DeRozan
Gordon Hayward
Anthony Davis
Andre Drummond

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