Celtics forward Al Horford and San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge were the final two picks of the NBA All-Star draft, according to a report from ESPN.com's Chris Haynes.
In a change from the traditional East-vs.-West format, last month, the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, the top two All-Star vote-getters, each drafted a team from the 22 other players chosen to play in this year's game, which is Sunday in Los Angeles.
Aldridge was selected last to the team captained by James, while Curry took Horford with the final pick for his team. The order of selection was not officially made public by the NBA, but Haynes reported that Curry acknowledged Friday that he took the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo with his first pick.
Horford has averaged 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in the first 54 games of the season, Aldridge 22.8 points and 8.4 rebounds.
Only two NBA players have had their NBA 2K19 ratings revealed so far: LeBron James and Jayson Tatum.
Despite having just one season under his belt, NBA 2K19 awarded the 20-year-old with an 87-overall.
While James, the cover athlete of the game’s 20th Anniversary Edition, earned a 98-overall, Tatum’s 87-overall is higher than many anticipated and a ten-point jump from his initial rating as a rookie.
Tatum responded to the rating by quote tweeting the eye emojis (on World Emoji Day no less).
Tatum fell short of Rookie of the Year honors, but averaging 18.5 points per game in the playoffs and helping lead the Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals clearly made an impression on the game developers.
The forward's 87 is the same rating given to 2018 All-Stars such as Bradley Beal and Draymond Green at the end of last season, and higher than All-Stars like Al Horford and Kyle Lowry.
No other Celtics’ ratings have been revealed thus far, but Kyrie Irving, who finished last season at a 93, is likely to be the team’s highest-rated player.
Ratings are revealed periodically up until the game’s early-release date on September 7.
The Boston Celtics' transformation from contenders to pretenders and back again has drawn the praise of fans and rivals alike.
That praise continued to rain down on Sunday as Brett Brown, coach of the rival 76ers, lauded Boston’s team, Danny Ainge, and company.
“When you’re designing a team, when you’re thinking about the things you have to do from a coaching standpoint, when you’re forward-thinking about matchups, how can you not think about the Boston Celtics?” Brown told the Boston Herald. “I’ve said many times and I’ll say it again, the partnership that Brad (Stevens) and Danny (Ainge) have is fantastic.”
“And for all of my years in Philadelphia, you’re always looking over your shoulder at what Boston is doing. I think in many ways they are a benchmark type of program for me, and I’m always thinking about how ultimately do you beat them.”
While the 76ers exceeded expectations last season, the Celtics eliminated Philadelphia in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
With LeBron James moving west, many feel the race for Eastern Conference supremacy is shaping up to be a battle between the two long-time rivals, both of whom have young cores, for the foreseeable future.