Who's on Tatum's ideal All-Star starting five? Beal makes cut originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Kevin Durant did Jayson Tatum and Bradley Beal a solid by pairing the St. Louis natives on the same team in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
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But what if Tatum, not Durant, was a captain for this year's contest? Who would he choose as his starting five?
The Boston Celtics star was posed that question Sunday in a video press conference ahead of the All-Star Game in Atlanta, and he gave a diplomatic answer. Here's Tatum's starting five:
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
|Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards|
|Jaylen Brown, Celtics|
|Jayson Tatum, Celtics|
|LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers|
If Tatum was trying not to offend anyone with this lineup, he did a pretty good job.
The 23-year-old chose his All-Star teammate in Brown (who's technically a reserve, but we'll let it slide) and his childhood friend/mentor in Beal, then filled the other two slots with two of the NBA's most popular players.
Tatum and Beal both have admitted how excited they are about being teammates after never being on the same team growing up in St. Louis. Getting Beal to the Celtics in real life would be a difficult task -- Beal's 2020-21 salary doesn't fit under Boston's $28.5 million traded player exception, for starters -- but perhaps the two will team up at some point in their NBA careers.
Meanwhile, Tatum will be Brown's adversary Sunday night, as James drafted the 24-year-old wing while calling him "underappreciated."
Tatum said Sunday he'd prefer not to match up with his Celtics teammate but joked that he'd lock Brown down if so.
"I know all of his moves," Tatum said. "I know what he's gonna do. So I ain't gonna let him score."
Your move, Jaylen. The Celtics duo also will compete in the NBA 3-Point Contest at 6:30 p.m. ET before squaring off in the All-Star Game at 8 p.m. ET.