Predicting the NBA All-Defensive Teams: Who else makes the cut besides Gobert?

Houston Rockets v Minnesota Timberwolves
Houston Rockets v Minnesota Timberwolves / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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Similar to the All-NBA teams, the All-NBA Defensive teams will also use a positionless voting structure. Rather than the typical guard, forward, and center format; voters will be granted the opportunity to select their ten best defensive players in the league.

What makes a positionless All-Defense team different from an All-NBA team is the value placed on bigs. Since the turn of the century, only one guard and a handful of forwards have won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

This season will be no different as the three finalists all play the pivot spot. The positionless standard will ultimately yield a "big-heavy" All-Defensive team. In these projections, the bigs are prevalent, but numerous guards will also find themselves as All-Defense material.


OG Anunoby, Draymond Green, Jonathan Issac, Keon Ellis Peyton Watson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker

To begin, we'll shout out the non-qualifiers. These players are awesome talents on the defensive end, yet they have not fulfilled some requirements under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Most importantly, players must have played 65 games to qualify. In addition, players must play at least 20 minutes for a game to count.

New York Knicks' forward OG Anunoby is first up. The former Toronto Raptor is an extremely versatile defender who happened to miss 32 games this season due to an elbow injury. Playing for the Knicks, Anunoby averaged 1.7 steals per game and helped New York to a 20-3 record when he was a part of the lineup.

Next, both Draymond Green and Jonathan Issac are relative locks for All-Defense teams whenever they're healthy. However, the duo appeared in 58 and 55 games, respectively. Each player averaged 1.9 "stocks" on the season.

Two of the three remaining players are excluded due to the 20-minute rule. Sacramento Kings' Keon Ellis would've suffered at the expense of his lack of minutes, but the young guard also failed to appear in 65 games. He came on late but made his presence felt. Ellis routinely defended the best opposing guard and did so well for the Kings.

Lastly, two youngsters, Peyton Watson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The Denver Nuggets wing averaged just 18.8 minutes per game but contributed an astounding 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes. Alexander-Walker proved to be an excellent defender, turning his career progression around in doing so. The Wolves guard forced his opponents to shoot 7.0 percent worse on 2-pointers this season.