Sacramento Kings' Domantas Sabonis receives 1 vote in 2 separate award ballots

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Sacramento Kings were right in the middle of the playoff conversation throughout the 2023-24 season. Even though they didn't make it, not much was made about how they would fare in award season. Save for Malik Monk's Sixth Man of the Year case.

However, Domantas Sabonis certainly (and inadvertently) sent shockwaves throughout the entire league when, following the announcement that Rudy Gobert won the 2024 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, that Sabonis had received a third-place vote in the race, per the NBA Communications' X account.

However, it didn't stop there. Following the announcement that Nikola Jokic had won the 2024 Most Valuable Player award, it was revealed that Sabonis received a fourth-place vote in the race per the NBA Communications X account.

Thus far, it hasn't been revealed who voted for Sabonis, but that hasn't stopped viewers from wondering how he got such recognition.

It's harder to determine which ballot seemed less realistic for Sabonis to receive a vote. Sabonis is three-time All-Star and made an All-NBA team, but in the ever-so-lengthy MVP discussions that take place throughout the season, his name hardly ever came up. Not even the biggest Kings homers would have picked him, and it's debatable if he's Sacramento's best player.

Sabonis' reputation has stemmed from his impact on offense, which of course isn't too shabby, hardly anyone would recognize him for his defense. While his work as a pickpocket isn't too shoddy, averaging 0.9 steals this season, Sabonis is about as far from a rim protector as one could get.

On the one hand, he averaged a career-high in blocks per game. On the other, he averaged 0.6, good for No. 67 among NBA players, per Perhaps the voter who voted for Sabonis wanted his quick hands to get more recognition, but that hardly seems like enough evidence to vote for him as one of the NBA's best defenders.

Domantas Sabonis has strong case for All-NBA team

Even though Sabonis' votes as MVP and DPOY have been largely laughed at, he still made a solid campaign as one of the league's best overall big men. It's what helped him make an All-NBA team in 2023, and why he could do it again in 2024.

The Lithuanian center has continued to prove himself as one of the most well-rounded offensive players in the NBA, averaging 19.4 points and 13.7 rebounds while also showing his skill at playmaking, averaging 8.2 assists a game. In short, he puts the numbers on the board.

Missing the playoffs may hurt his case for a second All-NBA appearance, but no matter how the Kings' season turned out, Sabonis still did his part in keeping it afloat. Maybe the MVP and DPOY recognition deserve to be treated like a joke, but Domantas Sabonis gave the Sacramento Kings their money's worth.