Friday Bolts: All-NBA and All Rookie Teams
This past week the NBA announced the All-NBA, All-Defense, and All-Rookie teams. On the All-NBA front, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander received his first All-NBA accolade, adding to a long list of Thunder appearances on the All-NBA team. Oddly, however, 3 voters excluded SGA from first team, second team, and third team.
Jalen Williams was a near unanimous pick for All-Rookie first team, receiving 99 of 100 votes. The other Williams, Jaylin, was in the "other receiving votes" category, nabbing 1 vote for first team and 5 votes for second team. Interestingly, the ballot that had JWill as first team, also had JDub on the first team.
Sources tell me that ballot was not Brandon Rahbar's ballot (as Brandon does not currently have a vote).
Lu Dort was snubbed as he was not named to either first team or second team All-Defense. Despite a reputation as one of the league's most feared defenders, Dort was relegated to the "other receiving votes" category, receiving just 1 vote for first team, the same number as SGA.
Sam Vecenie (The Athletic) did a re-draft of the 2022 NBA Draft and, unsurprisingly, Jalen Williams's astounding rookie performance vaulted him to No. 2. Chet Holmgren, despite missing the entire season with a Lisfranc injury, barely dropped, appearing at No. 3 on Vecenie's list. Holmgren's incredibly potential would have likely kept him among the top selections even with the benefit of hindsight.
This is where the fun starts and where I expect some push-back. I’m still all-in on Holmgren and debated slotting him in at No. 1 here after ranking him as my No. 1 player in the class pre-draft. There is no higher-upside player in this class.
Though the fans were unable to get to know Chet on the court, his teammates were able to get to know Chet off the court and at practice. Joe Mussatto asked several Thunder players what is Holmgren like?
SGA on Holmgren:
Off the court, he's a really good kid. He's goofy. Easy to get along with. Bad at cards.
Daily Thunder founder Royce Young, now with the Thunder, dropped a retrospective on the past season. Obstacles provide opportunities: Royce Young on the 15th season.