2022 PBT Awards: All-NBA

Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry in Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
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Kurt Helin

First team

Guard: Luka Doncic (Mavericks)

Guard: Stephen Curry (Warriors)

Forward: Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)

Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)

Center: Joel Embiid (76ers)

Second team

Guard: Ja Morant (Grizzlies)

Guard: Devin Booker (Suns)

Forward: Jayson Tatum (Celtics)

Forward: LeBron James (Lakers)

Center: Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)

Third team

Guard: Trae Young (Hawks)

Guard: Chris Paul (Suns)

Forward: DeMar DeRozan (Bulls)

Forward: Kevin Durant (Nets)

Center: Rudy Gobert (Jazz)

My goal is to have the five best players in the league on my All-NBA first team — matching up with my MVP ballot — and that explains why I have moved Nikola Jokic to forward. There were three clear best player/top MVP candidates this season in Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo and they all deserved first-team honors, but to make that happen means moving someone to forward (Embiid and Jokic are both eligible at forward). Jokic plays a little more of a forward role than Embiid, a more traditional center, so Jokic gets moved for me. I doubt most voters will see it that way, and Embiid/Jokic will battle it out for first-team center, but I have gone this way. It also frees up a center spot so both Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert can be All-NBA, and they are both deserving.

I did not totally match my MVP ballot, that would have required moving Tatum to guard (he is eligible), but doing so means cutting another guard and I couldn’t leave Chris Paul or Trae Young off All-NBA. Guard was deepest and the hardest positional decision this year for this award. In the end, Donovan Mitchell is the first man out, with Pascal Siakam the next forward on the list who just doesn’t make the cut.

Dan Feldman

First team

Guard: Stephen Curry (Warriors)

Guard: Luka Doncic (Mavericks)

Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)

Forward: Jayson Tatum (Celtics)

Center: Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)

Second team

Guard: Chris Paul (Suns)

Guard: Devin Booker (Suns)

Forward: DeMar DeRozan (Bulls)

Forward: Kevin Durant (Nets)

Center: Joel Embiid (76ers)

Third team

Guard: Trae Young (Hawks)

Guard: Ja Morant (Grizzlies)

Forward: LeBron James (Lakers)

Forward: Jimmy Butler (Heat)

Center: Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)

I covered my picks in greater depth on the ProBasketballTalk Podcast last week.

A few changes to some close races since recording: Luka Doncic and Kevin Durant are surging and LeBron James and Ja Morant are limping to the finish.

Because Doncic went from third-team forward to first-team guard, my previous last guard in – Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell – gets bumped completely. The forward vacancy now goes to Jimmy Butler, though I’d rate Mitchell ahead of him if not constrained by positions. However, if not constrained by positions, Utah center Rudy Gobert – who barely fell behind Karl-Anthony Towns – would’ve gotten included ahead of Mitchell.