Jackson Jr.’s All-Around Season Well Worthy of All-NBA Selection


Voting precedent matters.

Jaren Jackson Jr. has already locked up his first Defensive Player of the Year trophy and first All-Star nod during the 2022-23 NBA season. All-NBA should be next on the docket.

Over the last twenty seasons, only four players that won Defensive Player of the Year were left off the All-NBA teams: Marcus Smart (2021-22), Rudy Gobert (2017-18), Kawhi Leonard (2014-15) and Marcus Camby (2006-07). The math says Jaren has a better case to be All-NBA than not when 80% of DPOY winners are selected.

Of the 16 selected, seven were first team, three were second team and six made third team. Looking at those who made third team, guys like Rudy Gobert, Ron Artest, Ben Wallace, Tyson Chandler and Draymond Green, it seems as if the voters threw them a bone because they won Defensive Player of the Year.

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Basketball is played on both offense and defense even though offense is what sells tickets. So selecting the top-15 players in the league for a season and leaving off the best defensive player, seems odd.

Gobert blocks shots and sets screens, cool beans.

Artest was a versatile defender that did not offer much on offense— a bigger Smart.

Wallace defended and rebounded, again, cool beans.

Chandler blocked shots and rebounded, big whoop.

Green is the anomaly of this group because of his involvement as a passer in the Golden State offense.

Point is, Jaren Jackson Jr. has been significantly more important on the other side of the ball than any of these guys that got tossed onto the third team.

That is history, though. Jaren has to be voted in over his peers by the media. Three teams. Six forward spots.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum are virtual locks this season. Four spots remaining.

DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Pascal Siakam were the other four last season, but do any of them present a better case than Jaren?

DeRozan and Siakam both scored 24 per game and played 70+ games, but neither of their teams are in the postseason.

Durant barely played, so there’s no way. Even LeBron played in just 55 games, eight less than Jackson and does not qualify as a statistical leader.

So who is Jaren up against this year?

Jimmy Butler, Jaylen Brown, Lauri Markkanen and Julius Randle are all in play. There are votes for Luka Doncic and Anthony Davis as forwards, but Luka is a point guard and Davis played 99% of his minutes at center this season.

Brown should absolutely get the nod for a second-team All-NBA, leaving three spots. Randle averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Knicks, which I am sure will be enough to land a spot.

So for the final two spots should Jaren Jackson Jr. be named All-NBA over LeBron, Markkanen, Butler, DeRozan or Siakam?

The answer is yes.

LeBron has been named All-NBA EVERY season since 2004-05, his sophomore campaign. Would the voters dare short the self-proclaimed king a shot at 19 straight selections?

The fact of the matter is that Jaren has been named the best defensive player in the league for this season and has been the single most important player for the second seed in the Western Conference. Not a soul contending for his spot has a similar resume.

Jimmy Butler was the best player on the eighth seed in the East.

Lauri Markkanen, while vastly improved, put up numbers on a garbage team— someone had to score.

DeMar DeRozan and Pascal Siakam led their respective teams to their couches at the house, watching Jaren Jackson Jr. in the playoffs.

The All-NBA Forwards for the 2022-23 season should be:

  • 1st Team: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum
  • 2nd Team: Jaylen Brown and Julius Randle
  • 3rd Team: Jimmy Butler and Jaren Jackson Jr.

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