Team Giannis Selects Utah Jazz All-Star Lauri Markkanen
SALT LAKE CITY – Team Giannis selected Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen during the 2023 NBA All-Star Game Draft ahead of the league’s 72nd showcase exhibition.
The draft took place prior to the 2023 NBA All-Star Game at Vivint Arena on Sunday, February 19.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, captain of Team Giannis, selected Markkanen as a member of their team for the 72nd NBA All-Star Game.
Markkanen was one of the game’s 10 starters.
Team LeBron includes the following NBA All-Stars:
- Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves)
- Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
- Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
- Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
- De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings)
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)
- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Kyrie Irving (Dallas Mavericks)
Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks)
Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)
- LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
Team Giannis will compete against the following roster of Team LeBron, which is led by team captain, LeBron James:
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)
- DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
- Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)
- Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
- Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)
- Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
- Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
- Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
.@MarkkanenLauri is a member of Team @Giannis_An34. #NBAAllStar #NBA #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/rYitMHVsRg
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) February 20, 2023
Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) will not participate due to injury.
The 72nd NBA All-Star Game will tip-off at 6 p.m. (MDT) on TNT and TBS.
RELATED: How To Watch, Stream, Listen To NBA All-Star Events
Lauri Markkanen makes first NBA All-Star Game
Markkanen will make his first All-Star appearance Sunday night as the star-studded weekend comes to a close in Utah.
The Jazz forward is the team’s lone representative in front of the home crowd and should get plenty of opportunity to prove he belongs.
After a stellar start to his tenure with the Jazz, Markkanen was chosen by NBA coaches as a reserve for the All-Star game before being bumped up to a starting position due to injuries.
Markkanen will have the unique opportunity to represent both Utah as the league host, and his country as he becomes the first Finnish player to suit up in an NBA All-Star game.
“Being in the hometown and having my family here and having them experiencing everything with me, I think that’s been pretty cool,” Markkanen said.
Jazz fans, it's your 2023 All-Star starter,,,
🌟 𝐋𝐀𝐔𝐑𝐈 𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐊𝐊𝐀𝐍𝐄𝐍 🌟#NBAAllStar | #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/yMNTqofwlU
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 20, 2023
The Jazz forward is having a career year in Utah, averaging 24.9 points and 8.8 rebounds, proving why he was worthy of a top-seven pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
After two strong seasons to begin his career in Chicago, Markkanen’s numbers began to dip as the Bulls shifted their identity to build around other players on the roster.
The forward was then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021 before being rerouted to the Jazz last offseason.
some new ✨all-star✨ moves#NBAAllStar | #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/Z3f2TYTkxX
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 20, 2023
Despite a tumultuous past three years, Markkanen said he never questioned his ability to lead a team.
“I never stopped believing,” Markkanen said. “I’ve just been putting the work in, and you have to have that high belief in yourself that anything can happen, and hopefully it’s just the beginning.”
Lauri Markkanen 2021-22: 14.8 PPG
Lauri Markkanen 2022-23: 24.9 PPG
What a breakout season it has been for the first-time NBA All-Star! pic.twitter.com/mFSeHXGVUh
— #NBAAllStar (@NBAAllStar) February 19, 2023
Reworked All-Star Format
Sunday’s All-Star game will feature a new format with captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo drafting their rosters shortly before tip-off.
In recent years the draft was held on TNT, but the idea was reworked ahead of All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City.
While Markkanen is among the pool of starters that will open the game on the floor, he won’t be one of the first players drafted.
Instead, James and Antetokounmpo will select from the pool of reserves first, before drafting from the designated starters.
In addition to Markkanen, the All-Star starters include former Jazzman Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Ja Morant, Joel Embiid, and Jayson Tatum.
Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.
Utah Jazz Scoreboard
Utah Jazz Team Leaders
Utah Jazz Standings