We all know those big-time awards, like MVP, Defensive player of the year, and Rookie of the year. But there’s also the annual All-NBA team selections. Not only is it an honor to get selected, it can influence money in contracts, and can really raise a player’s value around the league. This year, with so many fantastic performers throughout the season, it may be harder to pick than usual. Here are my predictions for the All-NBA teams, before they officially get announced on Wednesday:
All-NBA First Team
(G): Russell Westbrook - 31.6 PTS 10.7 REB 10.4 AST
When Kevin Durant left to join the Golden State Warriors, many were expecting big things from Russ. Nobody however, expected a Triple-Double season. Lifting the Thunder on his back and leading them to the playoffs, Russ is not only an All-NBA First team lock, but the front-runner for MVP.
(G): James Harden - 29.1 PTS 8.1 REB 11.2 AST
After a semi-disappointing season last year, Harden flipped the switch and the Rockets became instant contenders under a flurry of new talent and fresh offensive system. Being in the MVP discussion all year long, Harden lead his team in assists and points. Like Westbrook, James’ team was pretty much a one man show.
(F): LeBron James - 26.4 PTS 8.6 REB 8.7 AST
LeBron James is still the best player in the world, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Coming off one of the best regular seasons in his career, he has cemented himself a spot on the All-NBA First team (again) and a legacy as one of the best to ever play.
(F): Kawhi Leonard - 25.5 PTS 5.8 REB 3.5 AST
As always, Kawhi deserves a spot up here because of his relentless ability to play both sides of the ball. His defense is always suffocating, and his offense has taken a huge leap since the retirement of Tim Duncan. Kawhi is the leader and star if this team and this season, he really started to play like it.
(C): Anthony Davis - 28 PTS 11.8 REB 2.1 AST
Despite the Pelicans having an abysmal season, AD has been nothing short of sensational. He does a little bit of everything, and has adapted the three point shot into his already well-rounded game. Now paired with DeMarcus Cousins, can he help lift the Pels into the playoffs?
All-NBA Second Team
(G): John Wall - 23.1 PTS 4.2 REB10.7 AST
John Wall went from upcoming star to sure-fire superstar. While his outside jumper still needs some work, he has everything else a point guard could need. His handles, speed, playmaking ability, and inside scoring talents have elevated Wall to All-NBA second team status. The Wizard’s run did just get cut short by Boston, but their run is still just getting started.
(G): Isaiah Thomas - 28.9 PTS 2.7 REB 5.9 AST
The King of the Fourth has been the Celtic’s biggest hero this year. When the C’s needed a bucket, Thomas was there to give it. When the Celtics needed some heart, Isaiah was there to give it. Being arguably the best closer all year long, Thomas has been the number one reason for Boston’s success.
(F): Kevin Durant - 25.1 PTS 8.3 REB 4.8 AST
No matter how much anybody may resent him, Kevin Durant is still one of the NBA’s biggest stars. Some health issues later in the season stunted his season, but he still deserves a spot at the Second team for what he did most of the year, being a top MVP candidate until he went down.
(F): Giannis Antetokounmpo - 22.9 PTS 8.8 REB 5.4 AST
The Greek Freak has taken a huge jump from last season. Not only is Giannis a front runner for most improved, he’s also a sure-fire lock for All-NBA Second team for leading the Bucks into the playoffs. This guy literally lead Milwaukee in most statistical categories for the entire season.
(C): Marc Gasol - 19.5 PTS 6.2 REB 4.6 AST
Marc Gasol has been flying under the radar all year long, but he’s still a top Center in the NBA. He belongs here at the 2nd team because of his well-rounded game. He can shoot from the middle, post on the inside, and assist like no other big man can. Not to mention he locks down the middle for one of the best Defensive teams in the league.
All-NBA Third Team
(G): Chris Paul - 18.1 PTS 5.0 REB 9.2 AST
CP3, at 32 years old, remains one of the best Point Guards in the game. With Blake Griffin struggling to stay healthy, and DeAndre Jordan continuing his offensive struggles, CP3 was the only one the Clippers could count on. Despite his scoring being lower than in previous years, he still has the mind of a Point God.
(G): Stephen Curry - 25.3 PTS 4.5 REB 6.6 AST
Steph Curry can change the entire course of a game with his shooting. He’s probably the best scoring point guard in the league, and is on the best team in the West. With that being said, he’s taken a step down from last years’ performance because of KD. With Durant becoming the Warriors leader, Steph hasn’t been able to capture the league like he could a year ago.
(F): Jimmy Butler - 23.9 PTS 6.2 REB 5.5 AST
The Chicago Bulls didn’t have a miraculous season. But if there was a bright spot, it was no doubt Jimmy Butler, who stepped up and became a superstar. He makes the All-NBA team this year for his leadership and his two-sided play. Even in the playoffs, he proved to the world that he is ready for stardom.
(F): Draymond Green - 10.2 PTS 7.9 REB 7 AST
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny the huge impact that Warriors’ forward Draymond Green makes on both ends of the floor. Being a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, Draymond can guard all five positions while giving his team a huge advantage on offense.
(C): Rudy Gobert - 14 PTS 12.8 REB 1.2 AST
The Utah Jazz made it to the second round before eventually losing to the Warriors in 4 games. A big part of their surprising post-season run was Gobert, who has cemented himself as one of the best centers in the NBA. His growing offensive game and huge defensive game have made him worthy of an All-NBA third team selection.