Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Paolo Banchero, Keegan Murray Headline 2022-23 NBA All-Rookie Team

Joseph Zucker

The NBA's awards season continued Monday with the unveiling of the All-Rookie teams for the 2022-23 campaign.

The Orlando Magic's Paolo Banchero, Oklahoma City Thunder's Jalen Williams and Sacramento Kings' Keegan Murray were among the first-teamers.

Banchero was a near-unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year, collecting 98 of 100 first-place votes.

Fans were surprised when the 6'10" forward emerged as Orlando's choice for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Up until the last minute, Jabari Smith Jr. had been the consensus favorite.

It looks like the Magic made the right call. Banchero averaged 20.0 points and 6.9 rebounds in 72 games, cementing himself as a cornerstone of the frontcourt.

While he wasn't a volume scorer like Banchero, the same can be said of the Utah Jazz's Walker Kessler. The 7'1" center hauled in 8.4 rebounds and blocked 2.3 shots per game to go with 9.2 points.

When the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Rudy Gobert from Utah for a package that included Kessler, it looked they paid far too steep a price. The swap has only gotten worse for the Wolves considering Kessler's immediate impact.

Williams finished as the runner-up to Banchero in Rookie of the Year voting, and his candidacy steadily built steam as the year unfolded. In 22 games after the All-Star break, the dynamic 2-guard averaged 18.6 points and shot 54.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

This is the second straight year the Thunder had a representative on an All-Rookie team after Josh Giddey was a second-team honoree in 2021-22. Between acquiring Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as part of the Paul George trade and building through the draft, Oklahoma City has done a masterful job.

The Kings were an exception while they leaned heavily on one of their rookies while maintaining a playoff push.

Some thought the Kings played it too safe when they selected Keegan Murray instead of Jaden Ivey with the No. 4 pick.

Murray was better than expected, though, hitting 41.1 percent of his three-pointers and averaging 12.2 points per game. His influence figures to grow as Sacramento attempts to build on its third-place finish in the Western Conference.


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