There are 20 teams in action this NBA Thursday, though little in the way of marquee contests with not a single game being contested between two teams with winning records.

There’s a slew of big stars in action with Harden, Antetokounmpo, Westbrook, Lillard, Davis, Embiid all on show.

The best game on the agenda is the surprise package Magic travelling West to visit the Blazers. The Knicks are starting to find some game, but they’ll face a potential reality check against the 76ers in Philly in an Eastern conference showdown, while out west the Spurs and Wolves duel with the winner potentially shifting up into the top eight in the conference.

With $20,000 up for grabs in the Thursday jackpot tournament, we take a look at some players you simply must have in your selections.


Giannis Antetokounmpo – SF/PF – $21,680

The Greek Freak is the third most expensive on the slate, but has been on an absolute tear of late and now gets served up a struggling Chicago outfit on his home court. In his last seven games, Giannis has averaged 29 points, while stuffing the sheet across the board with 13 rebounds, six assists, 1.5 steals, and over a block per game, he’s also chipping in more regularly from three. Across that stretch, the NBA’s clear leader in dunks hasn’t scored less than 50 Draftstars points in a game. Increasingly, it looks like this isn’t Giannis on a hot streak, this is simply what Giannis has become. With a couple of days rest and playing at home, Chicago aren’t going to be the ones to prove otherwise.

Kemba Walker – PG – $18,140

Walker may have cooled off from his recent two night 100 point barrage, but he continues to log big minutes, clearly leading the Hornets in usage, and putting up consistently good numbers. He’s supplementing his regular 20+ a night with eight dimes a game on average over his last four, he’s also putting up the third most triples per game this season. If anything was going to ignite the flame under Kemba again, it would be a trip from the Hawks. Atlanta are giving up a league worst 118 points a game, and a league worst 13 triples a game, appealing numbers for Walker.

Deonte Burton – PG – $5,000

The Thunder are absolutely desperate for bodies at shooting guard and in their last two games that has led to Burton getting some opportunities to show his wares, something he has done quite well with 11 and 8 point outings. Burton has logged 21 and 14 minutes the last two games, if this trend continues then we can expect him to continue to improve after receiving rave reviews in the off season. Paying at home, OKC should be able to make short work of visiting Cleveland which potentially is going to open up some garbage time minutes for the Thunder to give Burton more run as well.

Montrezl Harrell – PF/C – $13,800

Few would have predicted the Clippers to be atop the Western conference ladder at any point this season, but as we pass the quarter mark that’s exactly where they sit and the surging play of Harrell has been a critical part of that. Harrell’s efforts are yet to catch on with many fans, but he has posted double doubles in four of his last five games, averaging a shade under 20 points a night in that stretch. On top of that, he’s contributing two dimes a game, and averaging at least one block and one steal per contest also. He has a great match up at home against a Phoenix team tied for fifth highest opposing PPG in the league and no longer boasting the presence of Tyson Chandler inside.

Omari Spellman – PF/C – $5,920

Spellman saw an uptick in minutes in his last outing, bumped up to 20, and he rewarded the struggling Hawks with a 14 point performance backed up by four boards, four steals and two triples. He’s shown he can put up numbers like this before when given the opportunity, last time he was given more than 20 minutes he posted a 10-10-3-3 line. With the Hawks struggling, particularly in the front court, there’s opportunities for whoever can take them and with Atlanta’s wayward season this night should garner Spellman a better look next game. The Hornets have Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back in the fold, but they seem to be bringing him along slowly so Spellman can avoid that defensive match up also.

Enter the NBA $20,000 Thursday tournament.


Point Scored = 1 point

Missed Field Goal = -0.25 points

Missed Free Throw = -0.25 points

Assist = 1.5 points

Rebound = 1.25 points

Turnover = -0.5 points

Steal = 2 points

Block = 2 points

3 Point Made Bonus = 1 point

Double-Double = 2 points

Triple-Double = 2 points