Does New York Knicks forward Julius Randle deserve to make an All-NBA Team this season? Our NBA.com Staff weighs in.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): Man, All-NBA is going to be brutal this season.
Of the six forward spots up for grabs, I think it's safe to assume that three of them will go to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James in some order. After that is where it gets interesting. In addition to Randle, here are some of the players fighting for those spots: Kevin Durant, Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum, Paul George and Jimmy Butler.
I repeat: All-NBA this season is going to be brutal.
I've honestly gone back and forth about 10 times over whether or not Randle should make it over at least three of those players. (The only one I'd feel comfortable removing right now is Durant, simply because of the amount of times he's missed). My gut says Randle has done enough to make the All-NBA Third Team at the very least, but I think it's too close to say definitively with about two weeks still remaining in the season.
Maybe Gil and Kyle can convince me otherwise.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): This is … not easy.
After much deliberation, I say that Randle should definitely earn an All-NBA selection.
I'm with Scott in saying that Antetokounmpo, Leonard and James are locks. I might even put Durant in despite the fact that he'll finish the year playing in fewer than 50 percent of a possible 72 games. That being said, I can make a case for Randle above everyone in consideration aside from those locks.
My reasoning? Randle will finish the year averaging over 24.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. In the last 10 seasons, only Randle, Antetokounmpo (three times), Russell Westbrook (twice), DeMarcus Cousins and Nikola Jokic have accomplished the same feat.
Westbrook won MVP the season in which he did it, Jokic is doing it as the MVP favourite this year and Antetokounmpo did it in back-to-back MVP campaigns, in addition to doing it again this year. And on top of doing something that typically only MVPs do, Randle is at the forefront of a Knicks resurgence that will see the franchise end an eight-year postseason drought.
That's All-NBA calibre stuff there.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): There's no better way to depict just how much talent there truly is in the NBA right now than trying to select only 15 players for All-NBA. And when you narrow it down to just the forwards, that might be the hardest task of any position.
Like Scott mentioned, there are about 10 worth players for only six forward spots, but I have Julius Randle as an All-NBA selection this season.
What Randle is doing with the Knicks is ridiculous. Gil already painted the picture of the rarity of his averages for the season, joining strictly MVP-level company.
His scoring average jumped five points, he has nearly doubled his assists average, he's 10th in the league in total rebounds and he went from being a sub-30-percent 3-point shooter through the first five years of his career to knocking down 42.7 percent of his 3s this season. To add to that, he leads the league in total minutes played and minutes per game, all while taking New York from the basement of the standings to what appears to be home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Truly remarkable stuff.
I would say Randle is closer to All-NBA Second Team than he is to not making an All-NBA team altogether.
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