Embiid, Simmons Drafted to Opposite All-Star Squads

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

The trade deadline had long since passed, but there was still one last deal to sneak in.

Hey, it was, after all, the first-ever televised All-Star Game draft. Rules were meant to be broken.

In an unprecedented move (think WWE-level drama) involving one of the 76ers’ two All-Stars, LeBron James, this year’s leading vote-getter, proposed a last-minute swap with his counterpart, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ freakish Swiss Army knife, came in second in fan voting, and, along with James, will serve as a captain in the 2019 edition of the NBA’s annual superstar showcase.

Here’s how the negotiations, apparently initiated by the Los Angeles Lakers’ king, went down:

And so it was.

Ben Simmons for Russell Westbrook in an exchange that broke up the possibility of the Aussie and his 7-foot Sixers teammate, Joel Embiid, putting their dominant partnership on display February 17th at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

Set for his first career All-Star Game appearance, Simmons seemed to be just fine rolling with the tide. Now, he’ll have the chance to team up with James, his mentor since high school.

Embiid, meanwhile, will be the anchor of Team Giannis’ top group.

Simmons, who will also participate in the MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars exhibition February 15th, was the 13th selection in the All-Star draft. Embiid went fourth overall, and will be making his second All-Star Game start in as many years.

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