Paolo Banchero, Jalen Williams, Walker Kessler headline NBA's All-Rookie Team
Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero headlines the NBA's All-Rookie First Team that was announced Monday.
The Magic forward is joined by Thunder guard Jalen Williams, Jazz center Walker Kessler, Kings forward Keegan Murray and Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin. Banchero was a unanimous first-team selection. Williams garnered 99 of 100 first-team votes, while Kessler secured 95.
Banchero, a 6-foot-10 forward out of Duke, leads the team after an overwhelming Rookie of the Year ballot saw him garner 98 of 100 first-place votes. He averaged 20 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 42.7% from the floor and 29.8% from 3-point distance in 72 games on an Orlando team that saw a 14-win improvement over the previous season. The No. 1 overall pick in 2022 has so far proven the Magic correct for taking him in a draft that also saw Jabari Smith Jr. and Chet Holmgren garner consideration at the top.
Williams was the No. 12 pick out of Santa Clara. The 6-6 guard averaged 14.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 52.1% from the floor and 35.6% from 3-point distance. He worked his way into the starting lineup on a Thunder team that made an unexpected run to the play-in tournament. He's a key piece of a roster full of young talent also featuring first-time All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, second-year guard Josh Giddey and Holmgren, a playmaking 7-1 forward who's expected to join the team in the fall after missing his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury.
Kessler, a 7-1 center, was the No. 22 pick out of Auburn. He arrived in Utah from the Timberwolves in the trade for Rudy Gobert. He slotted nicely into Gobert's spot in the post, where he became an immediate defensive force averaging 9.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. His 72% shooting rate from the floor is the highest by a rookie in NBA history.
Murray was the No. 4 pick out of Iowa. He worked his way into a starting role on a loaded Kings roster that led Sacramento to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. A 6-8 forward, Murray averaged 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 45.3% from the field and 41.1% from 3-point distance.
Mathurin was the No. 6 pick out of Arizona. A 6-6 small forward, he worked his way into Indiana's starting lineup at the end of a season that saw him average 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.6 steals. Like Banchero, he'll look to improve on his efficiency in his second season after shooting 43.4% from the floor and 32.3% from 3-point distance as a rookie. He projects as a go-to wing scorer alongside a backcourt that features Tyrese Halliburton and Buddy Hield.
Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, Pistons center Jalen Duren, Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr., Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan and Rockets forward Tari Eason comprise the All-Rookie Second Team.