Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Jayson Tatum named to All-NBA First Team

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has been named to the All-NBA First Team, making it a second time in his career earning an All-NBA nod after making the All-NBA Third Team during the 2019-20 campaign.

Tatum averaged 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists, all career-highs, while shooting 45.3% from the field and 35.3% from deep and 85.3% from the free throw line in 76 games played.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets join Tatum with first-team honors -- as all are under the age of 27 for the first time since the 1954-55 season.

Despite Tatum receiving fewer voting points than Joel Embiid, who finished second in the MVP race behind Jokic and ahead of Antetkounmpo -- received 57 first-team votes and 414 total votes, while Tatum received 49 first-team votes and 390 total points. Essentially, Embiid most likely received split votes between him as a center and as a forward, dropping him to the second-team, with all of Tatum's votes were for him as a forward.

Embiid is joined by Ja Morant, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and DeMar DeRozan, who all were selected as the second-team. The third-team rounds out with Karl Anthony Towns, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Trae Young and Pascal Siakam.

Jaylen Brown also received three votes for All-NBA Third Team as the only other Celtics players to be considered. 

Tatum a year ago missed out on an significant bonus after not making any of the All-NBA Teams due to voters splitting his votes between being a forward and a guard, allowing Kyrie Irving to earn an All-NBA Third Team slot over him.

If Tatum had made any of the three teams last year, he would have made an additional $30 million on his max contract over the length of his rookie-scale extension -- a clause known as the "Rose rule" in which players with Tatum's years in the league can earn up to 30% of the salary cap on a max deal instead of the standard 25%.

Tatum becomes the first Celtic since Kevin Garnett during the 2007-08 season to earn an All-NBA First Team selection. Others in franchise history to accomplish the feat include; Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, John Havlicek, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Ed Macauley, and Ed Sadowski.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Boston Globe

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