The Celtics stars have been rewarded for a strong regular season — and that will leave the Boston front office with some tough decisions in future years.
Meanwhile, Knicks and Grizzlies fans are up in arms that their guys got left off the teams.
Wednesday night the NBA released the All-NBA Teams. Always one of the most controversial awards, this year was no different, particularly at the guard spot. 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
F. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee (500)
F. Jayson Tatum, Boston (484)
G. Luka Doncic, Dallas (403)
G. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City (407)
C. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia (474)
F. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics (169)
F. Jimmy Butler, Miami (182)
G. Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland (349)
G. Stephen Curry, Golden State (188)
C. Nikola Jokić, Denver (364)
F. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers (81)
F. Julius Randle, Toronto (125)
G. De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento (144)
G. Damian Lillard, Portland (137)
C. Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento (147)
Here are the other players who received votes.
Center: Anthony Davis, Lakers (65); Bam Adebayo, Heat, (9); Kristaps Porzingis, Wizards (2); Brook Lopez, Bucks (1).
Forward: Lauri Markkanen, Jazz (49); Kevin Durant, Suns (35); Pascal Siakam, Raptors (15); Kawhi Leonard, Clippers (15); Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves (14); Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies (11); DeMar DeRozan, Bulls (2); Mikal Bridges, Nets (2); Paul George, Clippers (1); Zach LaVine, Bulls (1); Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers (1).
Guards: Ja Morant, Grizzlies (44); Jrue Holiday, Bucks (39); Jalen Brunson, Knicks (23); Devin Booker, Suns (10); James Harden, 76ers (6); Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers (1); Trae Young, Hawks (1).
Some thoughts on the selections:
• Knicks fans will scream about Jalen Brunson being snubbed, but two points about that: 1) He finished ninth in guard voting, with Morant and Holiday in line ahead of him in snubbed guards; 2) Guard was BY FAR the hardest position to pick with way more deserving candidates than the six slots allowed.
• Next season, All-NBA will be a positionless vote (thanks to the new CBA) — if voters want more guards and fewer forwards or centers, they can do it. (For my money, having no positions is fairer and more representative of how the modern game is played. However, the decision will be no easier for voters and give fans plenty to argue about: Splitting hairs between the 14/15 best players next season and the 16/17th best will be brutal).
• Five All-NBA players this season would not have qualified next season because they did not meet the new 65-game threshold: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler, LeBron James and Damian Lillard.
• Jaylen Brown is now eligible for the supermax extension this summer of five years, $295 million from the Celtics. While there have been rumors of him being restless in Boston, that’s 295 million reasons he will stay — and the Celtics have to pay up and keep him, at least for now (better to sign and trade him rather than let him walk for nothing).
• Jayson Tatum making All-NBA again means he will be eligible for a supermax extension in the summer of 2024, and by then the cost is expected to be five years, $318 million. With the new CBA coming down hard on teams more than $17.5 million over the luxury tax line, and this team on the verge of getting bounced in the second round of the playoffs, Brad Stevens and the Celtics front office have some hard questions ahead about what the core of this team looks like and if it needs to be retooled.
• Ja Morant missed out on $39 million by not making Third Team All-NBA, meaning he is not eligible for the supermax. The same is true for Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet of the Raptors, and Jamal Murray of the Nuggets (only Siakam of that group got any votes).
• Donovan Mitchell apparently thought he deserved better than Second Team.
• Luka Dončić is now the fourth player in NBA history with four First-Team All-NBA selections before turning 25, joining Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan and Max Zaslofsky (hat tip Tim MacMahon of ESPN).
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