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2021 NBA All-Star Draft Odds – See Which Starters & Reserves Kevin Durant and LeBron James Are Favored to Pick First

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in NBA Basketball

Mar 2, 2021 · 6:30 AM PST

Kevin Durant sitting
Durant has had lots of time to think about his All-Star selections while out with injury (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • The NBA All-Star Draft will take place on Thursday, March 4th
  • Kevin Durant and LeBron James will captain the two teams
  • Which players will be selected first? See the odds on all eligible All-Stars below

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game is going ahead in Atlanta. Despite sitting out the showcase through injury, Kevin Durant remains captain, and will take part in the All-Star Draft with LeBron James on March 4th.

Only recently introduced, the All-Star Draft sees the conferences get mixed up for the All-Star Game. The leading vote-getters from each conference are nominated as captains (Durant and James in this case), and they select their rosters.

The starters are selected first – the two captains draft from a pool of eight players voted as starters by the fans, media and players. Jayson Tatum was elevated to starter in Durant’s absence.

This process is then repeated for the reserves. Domantas Sabonis and Devin Booker were backup inclusions in the reverse listings with Durant and Anthony Davis out through injury.

2021 NBA All-Star Starters Odds to Be Drafted First

Player Odds to Be Selected First By Kevin Durant
Kyrie Irving +125
Steph Curry +200
Giannis Antetokounmpo +350
Joel Embiid +400
Bradley Beal +450
Luka Doncic +550
Kawhi Leonard +650
Nikola Jokic +750
Jayson Tatum +1000
Player Odds to Be Selected First By LeBron James
Kawhi Leonard +250
Luka Doncic +275
Steph Curry +275
Kyrie Irving +325
Joel Embiid +400
Nikola Jokic +400
Giannis Antetokounmpo +650
Bradley Beal +800
Jayson Tatum +1200

Odds as of March 2nd

LeBron Recruits

LeBron James is no stranger to recruiting teammates. His previous All-Star Draft decisions have been analyzed as such, but there aren’t many angles for LeBron to work here. Kawhi Leonard is the only player heading for free agency this offseason.

Bradley Beal, however, could be the next All-Star on the move. It would be Very LeBron to start the recruitment with an early All-Star selection – just imagine the trade rumors after the draft if LeBron took Beal first. The fact the Lakers don’t have enough to trade for Beal is not going to stop fans worldwide throwing Beal into the trade machine.

Given Beal is leading the league in scoring, LeBron can justify taking him first. It’s far more likely he takes Beal first than Kyrie Irving or maybe even Giannis Antetokounmpo, who he has developed a minor rivalry with after the MVP race last season.

With his eyes fixed on the NBA MVP odds again – how will LeBron approach Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid? The pair are his two main rivals for the award. Will that put LeBron off picking them early in a peculiar attempt to downplay their performances? It’s worth remembering James and Embiid’s incident when the two teams met earlier this season, too.

Beal is the pick of the bunch at +800. James’ admiration for Luka Doncic is well known too, though, and Doncic is obviously the safer bet at that price.

KD Throws It Back

It makes sense for Irving to be favorite. Durant and Irving plotted to team up in Brooklyn. They are close friends. Maybe that’s just too obvious, though, and Durant looks to spice it up a bit and reunite with Steph Curry. Durant and Curry are clearly still on good terms despite his decision to leave the Warriors, and this could be an opportunity for the pair to once again go head-to-head with LeBron James.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid represent the two Eastern Conference rivals Durant could select first. Drafting either could be perceived as an attempt to build the pressure on their East foes. Durant hasn’t done this before, and his strategy is a bit of a mystery.

Nikola Jokic could represent a fun pick for Durant if he fancies engaging in some East mind games. Take Jokic, name him the best center in the league, and rile up Embiid? That would be entertaining, though firing up Embiid might not be the best long-term strategy for Durant and the Nets.

The odds are spot on for Durant’s first starter pick. It’s probably going to be Kyrie. Would he really risk upsetting his current teammate by taking his former teammate first?

2021 NBA All-Star Reserve Odds to Be Drafted First

Player Odds to Be Selected First By Kevin Durant
James Harden -200
Damian Lillard +300
Zion Williamson +500
Chris Paul +650
Devin Booker +750
Ben Simmons +800
Donovan Mitchell +900
Zach LaVine +1000
Rudy Gobert +1200
Paul George +1400
Jaylen Brown +1600
Domantas Sabonis +2000
Nikola Vucevic +2000
Julius Randle +2000
Player Odds to Be Selected First By LeBron James
Damian Lillard +150
Chris Paul +250
James Harden +350
Zion Williamson +450
Donovan Mitchell +500
Devin Booker +600
Zach LaVine +800
Ben Simmons +1000
Paul George +1200
Rudy Gobert +1400
Jaylen Brown +1600
Julius Randle +1800
Nikola Vucevic +2000
Domantas Sabonis +2000

KD Goes For the Beard

The obvious pick is the right one here. After orchestrating the blockbuster trade to form a big three, there’s no way Durant leaves James Harden on the board. Harden might not care, but just as with Irving, it’s not a risk Durant should be willing to take. These two are friends, not just teammates, and that will influence Durant’s decision-making. Harden’s probably the best option from a pure basketball standpoint, too.

If by some miracle Durant doesn’t take Harden, Devin Booker is a name to keep an eye on. Durant has spoken positively of Booker’s game in the past, and he famously wanted the Thunder to draft Booker. Booker might have only made the All-Star roster after Anthony Davis withdrew, but a lot of players have very high opinions of his game.

Chris Paul could be an option for Durant if he loads up on bigs in the starters draft. Should Durant take his East rivals in Embiid and Giannis, he might opt to get some ball handling on his roster in Paul. That is, of course, assuming that there’s any consideration for how these players will fit on the court together.

Harden is the only feasible option here really. LeBron’s first reserve pick is set to be much more interesting.

Staying Klutch

The power of Klutch cannot be overstated. Rich Paul and LeBron James got Anthony Davis to the Lakers. James has been vocal in his support of Ben Simmons in the past, another Klutch client. It’s not hard to imagine James selecting Simmons early on as an acknowledgement of Simmons’ talent -–James is more likely to take Simmons first than Donovan Mitchell or Devin Booker.

Change the spelling, and clutch is important in these odds, too. Damian Lillard is by far the most clutch player in the league this season. LeBron has been complimentary of the Blazers star throughout his career, and spoke of how under-appreciated he was back in 2018.

After being named an All-Star reserve, Lillard commented on the fact he’s always been on LeBron’s team. Calling LeBron the ‘greatest player of our generation’ should help his cause to be the first reserve picked by James on March 4th, too.

The mutual respect of Lillard and LeBron is public knowledge. Lillard was unlucky to miss out on a starters spot – he’s deserving of favorites status to be picked first by LeBron. Simmons is worth keeping an eye on as a longshot, too.

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