Only one player was a unanimous selection to the First Team All-NBA — and it wasn’t the league MVP.
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was the unanimous choice — and a good one, but him being put on the first team by all 100 voters is more about position than pure play. The Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, who was named MVP, had 12 people put him on the second team, most likely because they had the 76ers Joel Embiid — the MVP runner up — at center on their first team (and chose not to move Jokic to forward to get both Embiid and Jokic on the first team, as some voters did).
While there are always snubs, there were no shocks on this year’s ballot.
What follows is who made the All-NBA teams and their voting point totals (five points for a first-team vote, three for second, one for third). The votes were cast by a select group of 100 media members.
THE ALL NBA TEAMS
Here are the other players who received votes.
Center: Rudy Gobert, Utah (45); Bam Adebayo, Miami (28).
Forward: Jimmy Butler, Miami (32); Jaylen Brown, Boston (3); Desmond Bane, Memphis (1); Khris Middleton, Milwaukee (1).
Guards: Donovan Mitchell, Utah (4); Mikal Bridges, Phoenix (1); Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee (1); Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn (1); Dejounte Murray, San Antonio (1); Fred VanVleet, Toronto (1).
Some thoughts on the selections:
• The NBA should have held off on this announcement. A celebration of basketball greatness rang a little hollow as news poured out of Uvalde, Texas, about an elementary school shooting that saw 18 children and one teacher murdered earlier in the day.
• Every player named to the First Team All-NBA is 27 or younger.
• The big winner is Trae Young. By making Third Team All NBA, he qualifies for the Rose Rule and his contract extension that kicks in next season jumps from $177 million to $212 million over five years.
• Zach LaVine, a free agent this season, did not make an All-NBA team (he didn’t even get one vote) and is now not eligible for a super-max contract. He will have to “settle” for 5 years, $212.3 million from the Bulls or 4 years, $157.4 million from another team (and other teams think they have a chance to poach him).
• As noted by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, by making All-NBA teams, both Booker and Towns are both eligible to sign four-year, $211 million super-max contract extensions this offseason. Those deals would be in addition to the two years on their current contracts and lock them in through their prime with their current teams (barring any trades).
• No members of the top seed from the East, the Miami Heat, made All-NBA. Jimmy Butler was the closest, he was the seventh forward, but he finished well behind Pascal Siakam.
• No members of the Utah Jazz making the team — no Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell — will lead to cries from Salt Lake. However, in the wake of the team’s playoff performance, they will find little sympathy from fans (even though those playoff games don’t count toward the award).
• This is LeBron James’ 18th All-NBA nod, extending a record he already held.
• Doncic was named to his third All-NBA team before turning 24. Only three other players in history have done that: Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant and Max Zaslofsky.
• Voters are required to select two guards, two forwards and a center for each team (the NBA has become more flexible with the positions players can be assigned, for example, Jokic can be a center or a forward). If a player receives votes at different positions, they are tallied as one and the position most voters assign the player is where he is considered.