Will Jaylen brown make an All-NBA team?

Jayson Tatum has pointed out that it's kind of sketchy for a subjective vote by media folks to affect how much money players can earn, and I agree. The league and the union should be looking to change that. That said, here we are, and Jaylen Brown (and Ja Morant) have a lot of money riding on the All-NBA teams.

So, is Jaylen going to make one of the three teams? IMO it's not a slam dunk.

Jokic and Embiid will be one-two at center, in some order. If it was just rate stats, Anthony Davis would be third, but I expect it will be Sabonis instead.

Two of Giannis, Tatum, and Jimmy Butler will be first team, and the other will be second. As usual, some people are sleeping on Butler, possibly because they somewhat underrate his passing and defense, and because he's a tool. I'm guessing Markkanen will be the other second teamer, though I could be wrong. Even with the Jazz coming back to earth, he's got a lot of narrative buzz going on, and is a MIP candidate. Third team is fuzzier... maybe Randle and DeRozan? Kawhi has missed too many games. Durant has missed some games, and is weighed down by the Nets implosion narrative. LeBron has missed some games and the Lakers are mediocre, but he's LeBron and he broke the scoring record, so realistically, I expect that he'll edge out DeRozan and maybe even make the second team. Could Siakam grab a third team center or forward spot? No one is paying attention to the Raptors this year, so I think not.

Two of Doncic, SGA, and Lillard will make the first team, and the other will be second. Kinda feels like Donovan Mitchell is going to get that other second team spot, what with his 71-point game and the Cav's success. Third team, Harden and... Haliburton? Hate him if you will, but Harden is leading the league in assists, with a great A/T, scoring, rebounding, and playing for a good team. Kyrie has missed some games, and is weighed down by the Nets implosion narrative, the Mavs' late-season meltdown, and by being a moody, self-important nut job. Morant was a lock for second or third team, but then got suspended under ugly circumstances that won't play well with the voters. Steph Curry's situation is analogous to LeBron's: he's missed some games and his team is meh, but he's Steph, so he's going to make third team ahead of Haliburton, maybe even second team. Could Trae Young or Jalen Brunson sneak onto the third team? Mmmmaybe... but ahead of whom?

So, what is Jaylen's path? He'd likely have to beat out one of LeBron, Randle, or maybe DeRozan (probably Randle) for a third-team forward spot, or beat out one of Curry, Harden, or maybe Haliburton (probably Harden) for a third-team guard spot. As it happens, the Athletic recently ran a "Checking in on the Atlantic Division" column, in which the participants expressed a preference for Brown. On the other hand, the Athletic also ran a poll on whom media members would vote for as all-league forwards, and Randle outpolled Brown. I do also hold out some slight hope for a more enlightened world in which LeBron and Curry don't just automatically get all-league slots.

In Jaylen's favor: he's a great player, he's hot right now, the Celtics are a top team, he's an established star. Against him: analytics do not love him at all (at all! he's top 60-ish by pretty much any fancy metric you can think of), he doesn't have the ironman thing going anymore, he's not an established superstar. I think he has a 50/50 shot at beating out Randle (or maybe LeBron?), and a slim chance of beating out Harden (or maybe Curry?).

Again, crazy that so much depends on what kind of mood a few sportswriters are in on the day they submit their ballots. Still a few games left for Jaylen to ball out and make his case!

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