Predicting the unpredictable 2023–2024 NBA All-Defensive Teams

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Who the 2024 All-Defensive First Team should be:

Jalen Suggs - Orlando Magic

Any casual NBA fans may be caught off guard to see Jalen Suggs listed here, but all of the diehards will know what a prodigious defender he has been this year. He ranks 2nd in the league among guards in defensive rating at 110.2, trailing just Anthony Edwards. The difference is that he does not have the luxury of playing alongside two other All-Defensive caliber players in the starting lineup.

Orlando is still the 3rd best defensive team in the league and Suggs is the biggest catalyst as to why as their point of attack defender. He is one of the most disruptive backcourt defenders in the entire league.

Alex Caruso - Chicago Bulls

Now we go from Suggs, who would be making his first All-Defensive Team this year, to a more familiar face in Alex Caruso, who received his first All-Defensive Team honors last season. Caruso has played exactly as advertised and has been one of the few defensive bright spots on a middle of the pack Chicago team. He does all of the heavy-lifting on the perimeter and there is a reason why the Bulls have been hesitant to include him in potential trades… It’s because he is a top three non-big defender in the league and just turned 30.

Herb Jones - New Orleans Pelicans

Players have nightmares about Herb Jones. His defensive prowess this season has been comparable to the effectiveness of a Jaden McDaniels, but he will get the slight nod for All-Defensive First Team due to performing this well with a weaker surrounding cast.

He doesn’t have the eye-popping counting stats that a few other wings have, but the eye test itself showcases him being perhaps the best wing-defender in the league. He has shut down some of the biggest stars in the NBA, most notably in early-March when he held Tyrese Haliburton scoreless in a win against the Pacers.

Bam Adebayo - Miami Heat

2023-2024 has been yet another fantastic defensive showing for Bam Adebayo. He has helped carry the Miami Heat on both ends of the floor with Jimmy Butler having missed 22 games and Tyler Herro having missed 40 games this year.

Adebayo is still the prototypical “Big who can defend every position” and is understandably 3rd in Defensive Player of the Year odds. Victor Wembanyama is currently 2nd in front of Adebayo, but even though the 6’9” 26-year-old does not stuff the statsheet as much as Wemby, he has been the more consistent and reliable defender across the entirety of the season.

Rudy Gobert - Minnesota Timberwolves

No shocker here. Rudy Gobert is not only a lock for the All-Defensive First Team this season, but he should be the clear Defensive Player of the Year for 2023-2024. Minnesota is one of the best defensive teams in modern NBA history and Gobert anchoring the defense is a huge reason as to why.

He leads the league by a wide margin in defensive rating, at an awe-inspiring 103.9 this season. The “horrible trade” talks from two seasons ago are no longer relevant, and Gobert has proven that he is well worth the assets that Minnesota gave up.

If these “reputation and star status aside” NBA All-Defensive Teams do come to fruition, the NBA community would get to see five first-timers who get to experience this defensive honor: Herb Jones, Jalen Suggs, Victor Wembanyama, Jaden McDaniels, and Aaron Gordon.