On Tuesday night, the NBA released its official All-NBA teams. Not only do these fictional squads represent the best players in the league, but they also make a difference in the negotiation of potential contract extensions.
The First Team is full of young guys: forward Giannis Antetokoumpo (the only unanimous selection), guards Luka Doncic and Devin Booker, forward Jayson Tatum, and center and two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.
Things get a little more interesting with the Second Team. Center Joel Embiid was a First-Team caliber player relegated by the presence of Jokic ahead of him. Guards Ja Morant and Steph Curry are on the team, as well as forwards Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan.
Then, there’s the Third Team. NBA legends LeBron James and Chris Paul are on the list, as are contemporary stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Trae Young, as well as a budding one in Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam.
There are plenty of worthy names on the All-NBA teams, but which players were snubbed from the important accolade?
It’s hard to take a major issue with any of these players, all of whom showed signs of being at the top of their games at some point this season. But there are other players who made a push for a spot and could be considered snubs, even if choosing who they should replace is tricky business.
Center is a particularly challenging position to decide. The amount of space available is smaller, feeding into an argument that maybe these rosters should be more bereft of positions. Jokic and Embiid were the two best players in the league this year and snubbing one from the First Team feels silly.
Let’s go through the five biggest exclusions from the All-NBA rosters.