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Predicting The 2022 All-NBA Teams: Devin Booker Deserves First Team, LeBron James Sneaks Into Third Team

Predicting The 2022 All-NBA Teams: Devin Booker Deserves First Team, LeBron James Sneaks Into Third Team

It might be early for the All-NBA Teams to be released, but we have enough data to support who they should be. The All-NBA Team is an honor given to 15 players at the end of the season. It’s awarded to the best players in the league with two guards, two forwards, and one center picked for each team since 1956. LeBron James owns the most All-NBA selections with 17 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan tied for second with 15.

The 2021-22 season saw a couple of firsts, while some young talent has risen through the ranks. While there are some mainstays on this list, the All-NBA First Team will feature some young blood this year. Take a look at the standings and you will see why. With a mix of young and old, it brings a perfect blend of NBA talent.

These will be the All-NBA Teams for the 2021-22 season.

All-NBA Third Team

2021-22 All-NBA Third Team

Trae Young

Stats: 28.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 9.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Trae Young

While the finish of the Atlanta Hawks was disappointing, Young had an incredible individual season that should not be dismissed. Young became the first player in basketball history to lead the league in points and assists in college and then do it in the NBA. Young scored the most points this season with 2,155 total points and had a league-leading 737 total assists. He nearly averaged a double-double but was just a hair-off.

Young finished third in the assists title race to two established veterans and shot over 90% from the free-throw line. He was one of four players to score over 700 field goals while taking the second-most shots in the league. While Young might have led the league in turnovers, you take the good with the bad because the Hawks would have been hurting if he wasn’t on the floor.

Chris Paul

Stats: 14.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 10.8 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

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Injuries prevented Paul from leading the league in total assists, but he did enough when he came back to claim the assists title at the age of 36 years old. Paul will turn 37 years old on May 6. We haven’t seen a guard this masterful with the ball at this age since the days of John Stockton.

Paul also finished with 121 total steals, which was fifth overall, while the 1.9 steals finished second to Dejounte Murray’s 2.0 steals per game. Historically, Paul has been a fixture for the assists and steals titles. Had he played 10 more games, we are probably talking about him winning it once again. The Suns won 64 games and deserve two members on the All-NBA squad and Paul’s numbers prove that.

Jimmy Butler

Stats: 21.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Jimmy Butle

The one team that can relate to the Miami Heat is the Utah Jazz from last year. The Jazz led the Western Conference in wins last season but had just one player on the All-NBA squad in Rudy Gobert. The Heat finished with the best record in the East, but will probably have one player on the squad in Jimmy Butler. The issue with the Heat is that the team has a complete set of players with no one player specifically sticking out.

One might ask why Butler doesn’t get the same respect as Booker, who is pegged to make First-Team. That is an easy question to answer because the Suns won 64 games, while the Heat won 53. An 11-game difference in wins is pretty significant in terms of All-NBA talent. Butler is a top-10 fixture in the advanced stats, so he should get some recognition at the end of the year.

LeBron James

Stats: 30.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG

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The only player that didn’t lead his team to the playoffs that deserve to be on the All-NBA list is LeBron James. As a fan, you have every right to call this season a bust after the team acquired Russell Westbrook. While the combination of James and Westbrook never meshed, you can’t fault what James did this season individually.

Had James not missed time due to injuries, he would have finished second to Embiid in the scoring race. At one point, James was on pace to lead the league in scoring before injuries hampered him. At 37 years old, James scored 30.3 points per game and was 11th in total points. When is the last time you have seen that? Never.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Stats: 24.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.1 BPG

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This was the Karl-Anthony Towns that Minnesota thought they could see every year. After Jimmy Butler left town, Towns drifted off a little bit, but he always had relatively decent numbers. This year, he was the glue for a Timberwolves team that led the league in scoring. Towns also shot 41.0% from the three-point range, which is unheard of when you talk about professional centers.

Towns were in the top-10 in total points, rebounds, field goals, free throws, and were top-20 in blocks. He finished the season fifth in win shares and sixth in offensive win shares. Another telling stat is that he finished third in fouls committed, which means he was more aggressive on defense. Altogether, given that the T-Wolves made the playoffs for the second time since the days of Kevin Garnett, there’s enough here to support he has earned to make the final spot. 

All-NBA Second Team

2021-22 All-NBA Second Team

Stephen Curry

Stats: 25.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG

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Had Curry not missed time due to injury, we might have talked about a closer finish between the Suns and Warriors down the line. Granted, the Memphis Grizzlies finished as the second seed, but the Warriors were battling both teams down the stretch. Once Curry was out, it forced the team to weather the storm as he is hopeful to return to the playoffs.

Despite Curry missing time, he did what he always does. He led the league in three-point field goals and attempts. His 285 field goals were still higher than runner-up Buddy Hield’s 262. Curry also finished runner-up in free throw percentage, capitalizing on 92.3% of his free throws, losing that race to teammate Jordan Poole, who shot 92.5% from the field.

Ja Morant

Stats: 27.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Ja Morant

Ja Morant is starting to give fans a tough argument on who the best draft pick from 2019 was. In his third season, Morant helped the Grizzlies go from a cellar team post-Mike Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol to the second-best team in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies were also second in the league in points per game and it starts with Morant.

Because Morant missed time due to injuries, he did not finish in the top-5 for many stat categories, but this is more of an eye test. With Morant in the fold, playing at an All-Star level, the Grizzlies were just as good as the Suns at times. Morant was used the fifth-most among any player in the league on offense and still put up numbers that remind us of a younger Russell Westbrook. The question is will the Grizzlies live up to their seed?

DeMar DeRozan

Stats: 27.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

DeMar DeRozan

At the All-Star break, the Chicago Bulls looked like a team that could contend for the No. 1 seed. Then, everything began to tail off as Zach LaVine battled injuries, while the absence of Lonzo Ball hurt the overall team. With that said, the one constant figure in keeping the Bulls in games was the midrange assassin in DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan led the league in made field goals and two-point field goals. That is a stat that has traditionally seen centers and power forwards lead, but DeRozan used midrange jumpers to consistently score at a high level. DeRozan scored the second-most points this season, finishing just one of two players to score over 2,100 total points. If the Bulls were a higher seed, we would be talking about him as a First-Team All-NBA selection.

Kevin Durant

Stats: 29.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG

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Durant was looking like an MVP contender and the leader for the scoring title before injuries hampered him. With that said, Durant deserves some respect for his name for this season. The Nets battled the sage with Kyrie Irving not getting vaccinated. The team traded James Harden for Ben Simmons, who could play this year. Then, throw in all the veteran movement as well. Durant still led this team at times and the Nets are going into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed.

The seeds don’t matter when it comes to the Nets. The Celtics know that this is the toughest first-round opponent in the league. Durant makes that reality because he remains a top-5 player in the league when healthy. Now that the lights are on, we could see him lead this team far down the road.

Joel Embiid

Stats: 30.6 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.5 BPG

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Here is the problem with the All-NBA Team rules. Only one center is allowed on the All-NBA squad, so the man that led the league in scoring is probably going to be All-NBA Second Team because for all the reasons previously stated about Nikola Jokic. When Embiid told the world he didn’t know what else to do to win MVP, Jokic found a way to give another reason.

While it might be disappointing for Embiid to land on the second team, we have to keep in mind that this is a rules thing and not about Embiid. What Embiid did this year was amazing. He led the league in scoring and free throws, led the team to the playoffs while battling distractions from Ben Simmons, and scored all over the court. If he doesn’t win the MVP, it should be noted that he did just about everything you could in one year to win it in any other season.

All-NBA First Team

2021-22 All-NBA First Team

Luka Doncic

Stats: 28.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Luka Doncic

At one point, the Mavericks looked like a franchise that could be rebuilt on the horizon. There were reports that Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were not establishing a relationship. There were concerns about Doncic’s weight. Throw in a new coach on top of that and you are talking about a lot of distractions at one time.

Instead, Doncic led the Mavericks to 52 wins and the No. 4 seed in the West in a season that included the team trading Porzingis to the Wizards. Doncic also finished third in the scoring race and fifth in assists. On top of that, he played more defense, finishing seventh in defensive wins shares, just below Robert Williams and Al Horford. He also led the league in usage percentage, handling the ball 37.4% of the time, which was just 0.2% higher than the NBA scoring leader Joel Embiid.

Devin Booker

Stats: 26.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Devin Booker

It would feel wrong to leave Booker off this list for the other guard position because he was the glue guy that kept the Suns together. When Chris Paul got injured, there was league-wide speculation that the Suns were going to fall off the wagon. Instead, the Suns continued to win at a high level and the team led the league in wins with 64 and was the No. 1 overall seed. Even when Paul missed games, Booker kept this team together.

Booker took the fourth-most field goals in the league and made the seventh most, whale finishing eighth in the scoring race. He also improved his midrange game, making the eighth-most field goals inside the arc. Altogether, the Suns as a team would not have been in this position if he was off the court, so he should be rewarded with a First-Team selection.

Jayson Tatum

Stats: 26.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Jayson Tatum

There was a point in the season where Imke Udoka looked like he was on the hot seat. Marcus Smart was calling out Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Then, the team adjusted and the Celtics finished the season with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. A lot of that had to do with the transition of Tatum to being a top-5 player in the league. Tatum finished the season with an excellent offensive year, but also helped the Celtics allowing the fewest points per game.

As for Tatum, he led the league in field-goal attempts and scored the fourth-most points and fourth-most field goals. Tatum also finished top-5 in made free throws as well. Defensively, what stands out the most is that Tatum led the league in defensive win shares, besting one of the best defensive players in our generation in Rudy Gobert.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Stats: 29.9 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Giannis Antetokounmpo 2017

By the end of the year, Antetokounmpo gave the media world a valid argument for winning the MVP. What will probably hurt him the most is that the Bucks finished as the three seed in the Eastern Conference, but it shouldn’t take away that he was potentially the league’s best two-way player. Offensively, he finished second in the scoring race, while finishing as one of six players to score over 2,000 points on the season.

Antetokounmpo also finished runner-up in made free throws and third in two-point field goals. He was second in player efficiency rating and offensive win shares as well. He was third in usage rating and still finished with all these numbers as the Bucks battled injuries all year long. While MVP may be out of reach this season, he was a top-2 forward in the league this year.

Nikola Jokic

Stats: 27.1 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 7.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG

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Jokic accomplished something that Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, and all the other great centers in our league’s history never did. He finished the season with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in the same season, which was the first time it ever happened in NBA history. Ten years from now, we are going to be talking about how Jokic changed the game for centers because he is so versatile that he can do so many different things despite playing the position.

Jokic led the league in total rebounds but finished second to Gobert in the rebounding race. He also finished second in made field goals. The advanced stats suggest that Jokic was a top player on the floor. He recorded the highest player efficiency rating, led the league in win shares by a considerable margin, offensive win shares, was second in defensive win shares by 0.1, and had the highest value above a replacement player.


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