NEW YORK -- Giannis Antetokounmpo peeled back the curtain on his All-Star Game draft strategy Monday night, beginning with his desire to pick Golden State guard Stephen Curry if the two-time league MVP is still on the board.
"I might pick Steph because he picked me first last year, so I have to return the favor," Antetokounmpo said after putting up 30 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in a rout of the Brooklyn Nets. "After that, I think it is going to be random."
Antetokounmpo, who became one of two All-Star team captains after securing the most votes of any Eastern Conference player, said he plans to sit down and make a list of all the players he intends to select ahead of Thursday's draft. The two-time All-Star will draft second because Los Angeles Lakers Star LeBron James garnered the most overall votes.
Antetokounmpo said he would place an emphasis on drafting first-time All-Stars and teammate Khris Middleton, the only other Milwaukee Buck to be selected as an All-Star.
The team was in Toronto when Middleton found out he had secured a spot in the All-Star Game. At the time, Antetokounmpo joked he would draft his teammate only if Middleton promised to pass him the ball.
"I am going to try to make a team that is going to play hard," Antetokounmpo said. "I think I am going to go with the young players."
Last year, the All-Star draft was kept secret. This year, it will be broadcast on TNT. The draft will take place on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET. Mike Budenholzer and the Milwaukee Bucks' staff will coach "Team Giannis" in Charlotte. Denver coach Michael Malone and the Nuggets' staff will coach "Team LeBron."