LeBron James says he didn’t choose his All-Star team based on players’ pending free agency.
After LeBron James drafted his All-Star team this week, many fans started wondering if he targeted players that are impending free agents. However, the Lakers star says players’ contracts had nothing to do with his selections.
“I think that’s a great conversation,” James said. “Everyone kind of gets up for fantasy basketball talk. Guys that are restriced free agents, that are free agents, I don’t know, player opinions. That’s all part of the speculation that continues to drive our sport. … I picked according to my draft board and I picked according to who was the best available.
“It just so happened that I have [Kevin Durant] who’s a pending free agent and Kyrie [Irving’s] a pending free agent. James [Harden] is under contract until 2030. Kawhi [Leonard’s] a free agent.”
James also acknowledged some of his All-Star teammates that are also under contract, including Pelicans star Anthony Davis. The Lakers were reportedly pursuing a trade for Davis ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline but he remained in New Orleans.
Durant, Leonard and Irving will hit free agency this summer and have been included in rumors that they could potentially play with James and the Lakers in the future. Klay Thompson will also become a free agent and many wonder if he’ll stay with the Warriors or sign with a new team.
The 2019 NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis [Antetokounmpo], will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET at Spectrum Center in Charlotte. The game will air on TNT. You can check out both team’s rosters here.
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Original Article: https://www.si.com/nba/2019/02/09/lebron-james-all-star-team-draft-free-agency-anthony-davis-kevin-durant