2023 NBA Awards

NBA Announces All-Tournament Team

The All-Tournament Team of the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament features Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Kevin Durant (Suns), Tyrese Haliburton (Pacers), LeBron James and Anthony Davis (both of the Lakers), the league announced on Monday (via Twitter).

According to the NBA (Twitter link), the All-Tournament Team was selected by the media based on performance in both group play and the knockout rounds, with players chosen without regard to position. The full list of players receiving votes and the voters themselves can be found right here.

Antetokounmpo, Haliburton, James and Davis were all unanimous selections, which isn’t surprising considering their excellent play and how far they advanced in the tournament. The Lakers beat the Pacers in the final, with James claiming tournament MVP, Davis finishing second, and Haliburton third.

The Bucks fell in the semifinals to the Pacers, but Antetokounmpo put up his typical stellar numbers throughout the tournament, including averaging 36.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block while shooting 68.3% from the field in his two knockout appearances (37.2 minutes).

The final spot went to Durant, whose Suns narrowly lost in the quarterfinals to L.A. He received seven votes, with Brandon Ingram (four), Nikola Jokic (three), De’Aaron Fox (two), Damian Lillard (two), Jayson Tatum (one) and Myles Turner (one) also receiving consideration from the media panel.

Wolves’ Mike Conley Wins 2022/23 Sportsmanship Award

Timberwolves point guard Mike Conley has won the Sportsmanship Award for the 2022/23 season, the NBA announced in a press release.

According to the NBA, each of the league’s 30 teams nominated one of its players for the award. It was then narrowed down to six finalists — one from each division — by a panel of league executives. Finally, current players voted for the winner.

As the full voting results show, Conley narrowly edged Boban Marjanovic for his fourth award, which is the most in league history — he had previously been tied with Grant Hill at three apiece. The annual award is “designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court,” per the NBA.

The other four finalists, listed in order of the voting results, were Darius Garland, Bam Adebayo, Harrison Barnes and Jalen Brunson.

Conley, 35, appeared in 67 games for Utah and Minnesota in ’22/23, having been traded in February. The steady veteran averaged a combined 11.9 PPG, 6.7 APG, 2.7 RPG and 1.1 SPG on .428/.385/.834 shooting in 30.3 MPG.

The Sportsmanship Award trophy is named after Joe Dumars, the Hall-of-Fame guard who won the inaugural award back in ’95/96.

Bucks’ Jrue Holiday Named Teammate of the Year

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has been voted the 2022/23 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year, the NBA announced in a press release. A panel of league executives select the 12 finalists (six from each conference) for the award, while current players vote on the winner.

The award “recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and a role model to other players, and commitment and dedication to team,” per the NBA.

Here are the 12 finalists, listed in order of their total points received (players received 10 points for a first place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth, and one point for fifth place):

It’s the second straight Teammate of the Year award for Holiday, and third in the past four seasons. Lillard won in ’20/21. The only other active player to have won the award is Minnesota guard Mike Conley, who took it home in ’18/19 with Memphis. The award was introduced in ’12/13.

NBA Announces 2022/23 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2022/23 season.

A total of 100 media members vote on the All-NBA awards. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for Second Team, and one point for Third Team, for a maximum total of 500 points. This year’s three All-NBA teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Third Team

A total of 37 players received at least one vote, per the NBA. The top vote-getters who wound up missing out on All-NBA spots were Lakers center Anthony Davis (65), Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (49) and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (44).

Morant had Rose Rule language in his rookie scale extension, meaning his five-year deal would have started at 30% of next season’s cap had he been voted in; instead, he’ll receive 25% of the cap, which is projected to be a difference of about $39MM across five seasons.

Other players receiving 20-plus points include Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (39), Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) and Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (23). The next three highest were Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (15), Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (15) and Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves (14), who is listed under forward but spent most of the season at shooting guard.

As we noted earlier today, both of the Celtics’ top two players will now be eligible for Designated Veteran Extensions, also known as the super-max: Brown will be eligible to sign a five-year extension this offseason that starts at up to 35% of the 2024/25 salary cap, while Tatum will be eligible to sign a super-max extension in 2024 after earning All-NBA nods each of the past two seasons.

Like Brown, Siakam would have been eligible for a super-max extension this summer had he made an All-NBA team. He finished a distant ninth, so his maximum extension will now be worth a projected $192.2MM over four years, tweets Eric Koreen of The Athletic. As Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca observes (via Twitter), Siakam could still qualify for a super-max deal if he makes an All-NBA spot next season as an impending free agent.

This will be the last season under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the new CBA, All-NBA voting will be positionless and players will be required to play a minimum of 65 games to earn major regular season awards. Five of the players honored today — Antetokounmpo, Curry, Butler, Lillard and James — played fewer than 65 this season and would have been ineligible if the new requirements had been in effect, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

LeBron extended his own NBA record with his selection, earning a spot on an All-NBA team for the 19th straight season, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). No other player has more than 15 total All-NBA awards (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan are tied for second at 15 apiece).

Giannis was a unanimous First Team selection for the fifth straight season, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link), and the only unanimous choice in 2022/23. Antetokounmpo now has more First Team berths than any European-born player, tweets HoopsHype, and only trails Hakeem Olajuwon among international players (six). The Bucks superstar finished third in MVP voting behind Embiid and Jokic, but Jokic received some First Team votes over the Sixers’ MVP winner, which is why Embiid wasn’t a unanimous pick.

According to HoopsHype (Twitter link), this is the first season in league history that only one American player (Tatum) was voted to the First Team. Doncic (Slovenia) and Antetokounmpo (Greece) are European, Embiid was born in Cameroon, and Gilgeous-Alexander is Canadian.

Despite earning an All-NBA nod for the first time, Mitchell wasn’t happy that he didn’t make the First Team, sending out a tweet on the matter.

NBA Announces 2022/23 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2022/23 season.

A total of 100 media members vote on the All-Defensive awards, with players receiving two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote. This year’s All-Defensive teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Unsurprisingly, Jackson – who was this season’s Defensive Player of the Year – received the most First Team votes (96) and showed up on the most overall ballots (99). Only one voter didn’t have Jackson on either All-Defensive team.

Milwaukee teammates Holiday (94) and Lopez (85) received the second- and third-most First Team votes. No other player earned more than 50.

While the Bucks have two players on the First Team, it’s a bit surprising to see former DPOY Giannis Antetokounmpo miss out altogether. Antetokounmpo earned 16 First Team votes and 28 Second Team votes for a total of 60 points, the most of any player who didn’t earn All-Defensive honors. Although he received more total points than Brooks or Adebayo, Giannis didn’t make the cut because there were four forwards with more points than him.

Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (40 points), Celtics guard Marcus Smart (35), Nets guard Mikal Bridges (33), and Nets center Nic Claxton (25) would have joined Antetokounmpo on a hypothetical All-Defensive Third Team as the highest vote-getters who fell just short.

A total of 38 players showed up on at least one ballot — the full voting results can be viewed here.

Being named to an All-Defensive team will benefit a pair of players financially, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). White earned a $250K bonus for his Second Team nod, while Holiday will receive $129,600 for making the First Team.

NBA Announces All-Rookie Teams

Rookie of the Year winner Paolo Banchero was a unanimous choice for the 2022/23 All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today (via Twitter).

Players receive two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote, and Banchero received the maximum possible 200 points.

Here’s the full five-man squad, listed in order of their total points received via voters:

The All-Rookie Second Team was announced as well, with a couple of teammates headlining the group (Twitter link).

In my opinion, the most surprising omission from the All-Rookie Second Team was Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard, who received 46 points. Nembhard was actually listed on one more ballot than Eason, but Eason received two First Team votes versus Nembhard’s zero, giving him a narrow edge.

That’s not to say Eason (or anyone else) was undeserving — he had a strong season as a tenacious offensive rebounder and defender. I just thought Nembhard should have been honored because he started the majority of the season for a competitive Indiana team and was frequently tasked with guarding the opposing teams’ best player, as Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files notes (via Twitter).

According to the NBA (Twitter link), others receiving votes included Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe (36), Hawks wing AJ Griffin (26), Nuggets forward Christian Braun, Thunder center Jaylin Williams (seven), Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy (four), Spurs guard Malaki Branham (three), Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels (two), Hornets center Mark Williams (two) and Bucks wing MarJon Beauchamp (one).

In case you missed it, more NBA awards will be coming later this week. The All-Defensive teams will be announced on Tuesday, followed by All-NBA on Wednesday and the Teammate of the Year award on Thursday.

And-Ones: Boomers, Awards, Thibodeau, Butler, Gilbert

All but one of the 11 Australian players in the NBA have been named to the extended Australian Boomers squad for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Olgun Uluc of ESPN reports. The exception is a notable one — the Nets’ Ben Simmons, though there’s a possibility he’ll be added ahead of the selection camp.

Simmons recently expressed interest in playing for Australia in this year’s World Cup.

Some of the NBA current or past players who made the 18-man list include Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Josh Green, Jock Landale, Matisse ThybulleJosh Giddey, Dyson Daniels, Xavier Cooks and Thon Maker. The team will eventually be pared to 12 players.

We have from around the basketball world:

  • It’s going to be a busy week in terms of NBA awards announcements, the league’s communications department tweets. The All-Rookie team will be revealed on Monday, the All-Defensive Team will be unveiled on Tuesday and the All-NBA team will be announced on Wednesday. The Teammate of the Year award will be announced on Thursday.
  • Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is looking for ways to slow down red-hot Jimmy Butler and the Heat. ESPN’s Nick Friedell takes an in-depth look at the relationship between Thibodeau and his former player.
  • Nick Gilbert, son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, has died at the age of 26, according to ESPN’s News Services. Nick Gilbert had a lifelong battle with neurofibromatosis (NF1), which causes noncancerous tumors to grow on the brain, spinal cord and skin. He became well-known to NBA fans for being Cleveland’s good luck charm at the draft lottery, as the Cavs twice got the top pick when he was the team’s lottery representative.

Sixers Center Joel Embiid Wins First MVP Award

Joel Embiid has been named the league’s Most Valuable Player, according to the NBA (Twitter link).

The Sixers center surged during the second half of the season and topped Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who won the award the past two seasons, and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who captured the league’s most prestigious individual award in 2019 and 2020.

Embiid, the third overall pick of the 2014 draft, led Philadelphia to the Eastern Conference’s third-best record while topping the league in scoring at 33.1 points per game. He also averaged 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 66 regular-season games.

Jokic, who was considered the frontrunner a majority of the season, averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and a career-best 9.8 assists in 69 games while leading Denver to the Western Conference’s top seed. Jokic’s assist average ranked fourth in the league, an unusual feat for a center.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the league’s best record by averaging 31.1 points (fifth in the league), 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 63 games. Milwaukee’s superstar tied for third in the league in rebounding with Jokic.

The votes were based only on the regular season, so Milwaukee’s first-round playoff exit had no bearing on the voting.

Considering the MVP debate raged throughout the season, it was a little surprising that Embiid won by such a wide margin. He picked up 73 of the 100 first-place votes, while Jokic received 15 and Antetokounmpo got the other 12.

Overall, Embiid had 915 points with Jokic in second place (674 points) and the Bucks star in third (606). The CelticsJayson Tatum received most of the fourth-place votes and the Thunder‘s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished fifth.

Donovan Mitchell, Domantas Sabonis, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler, De’Aaron Fox, Jalen Brunson, and Ja Morant also received at least one vote apiece.

Embiid is the first Sixers player to win the award since Allen Iverson (2000-01).

NBA To Announce MVP Winner On May 2

The winner of this season’s MVP award will be revealed on “NBA on TNT” at 7:00 pm Eastern time on May 2, the league announced (via Twitter).

The race has the potential to be very close, with Sixers center Joel Embiid, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo all having submitted strong arguments for the award. They were announced as the finalists on April 14.

Embiid is considered the favorite to win the honor after capturing his second consecutive scoring title at 33.1 PPG. He also averaged 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 blocks in 66 games.

Jokic won the last two MVP trophies, and for most of the season it seemed like he was in a good position to claim three in a row. At 24.5 PPG, his scoring average was down from the last two seasons, but he averaged 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists in 69 games while leading Denver to the top seed in the Western Conference.

Antetokounmpo, also a two-time winner, put together another strong campaign with a career-high 31.1 PPG, along with 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 63 games as Milwaukee posted the league’s best record. The votes were cast before the playoffs began, so the Bucks’ first-round exit won’t affect his chances.

Paolo Banchero Named Rookie Of The Year

Magic forward Paolo Banchero has been named the league’s Rookie of the Year, NBA on TNT tweets.

Orlando selected Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick ahead of Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith Jr. The former Duke Blue Devil immediately made the Magic look good with a 27-point, nine-rebound, five-assist debut against Detroit.

Banchero went on to average 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 0.8 steals per game in 72 starts. He’s Orlando’s first Rookie of the Year since Mike Miller in 2001.

Banchero easily topped the other finalists, Thunder forward Jalen Williams and Jazz center Walker Kessler, for the award. Banchero received 98 out of 100 first-place votes, according to an NBA press release. Williams finished second and Kessler, who picked up the other first-place votes, was third.

Williams averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 75 games, including 62 starts. The No. 12 pick in the draft came on strong after the All-Star break, averaging 18.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 4.3 APG down the stretch.

Kessler was part of the Rudy Gobert blockbuster deal between Utah and Minnesota. The big man, selected with the No. 22 pick, averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 74 games, including 40 starts. Kessler ranked fourth in the league in blocks per game.

Bennedict Mathurin, Keegan Murray, and Jaden Ivey were the only other rookies to receive votes, finishing fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.