All-NBA: Who’s In, Who Loses Big $$$, Who Gets Snubbed

Last year, Anthony Davis could have made $24 million in one day. But he didn’t.

Davis was due a bonus if things skewed the right way. The bonus is called the Derrick Rose Rule. Derrick Rose was the only player on his rookie contract who received such a gigantic bonus because the threshold is a very high bar. A player has to be voted on the All-Star team twice by fans during his rookie contract, or, he has to be the league MVP, or he  has to be an All-NBA team selection twice. Then, he receives a 25-30% bonus before he starts his second contract. Rose was eligible because he was the league MVP on his rookie contract. Davis had been All-NBA once, and voted by the fans to the All-Star game once. When he wasn’t voted on the All-Star team by the fans in February, his last hope for the big payday was an All-NBA selection since he wasn’t going to wrestle the MVP out of Steph Curry’s hands. But. He was not voted in, not first, second or third All-NBA team. Goodbye $24 million.

It’s hard to argue that Davis should have finished higher than LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, Paul George, Kevin Durant or LaMarcus Aldridge  who were All-NBA selections.

It is an uncomfortable calculus when NBA writers are in control of how much a player makes based on All-NBA selections. Last year, James Harden didn’t make the first, second or third All-NBA team and he averaged 29 points, 7.5 assists. Harden had an offensive rating of 115 and a PER of 25.3. This season, Harden has similar numbers. Yes, his assists are up but how does he go from not being on the All-NBA team last year to being on first team this year?

This season, it isn’t the Derrick Rose Rule that will cost players money because of an All-NBA snub, but the super-max contract eligibility negotiated by players and owners in the new CBA.

Super max players are eligible for a $200 million dollar payday if they sign a free agent contract (or extension) with the team that drafted them and if they have less than ten years of NBA service. In addition, they have to be an All-NBA first, second or third team selection in the last year of their expiring contract or two of the previous three years, or they have to have won the MVP award or Defensive Player of the Year award.

Who is on the bubble for All-NBA in 2017? Blake Griffin and Gordon Hayward.

Griffin was not an All-Star this year, Hayward was.  Were they two of the best six at the  forward position? It matters particularly for Griffin and Hayward because, like Steph Curry, they are free agents and eligible for the super max contract if they get an All-NBA selection.

Here is their case.

Blake Griffin: He is the 27th leading scorer, the 21st leading rebounder. He is the 8th best power forward (Real Plus Minus) and the 49th best defensive power forward (Defensive Real Plus-Minus). His offensive rating is 116, a career high. His defensive rating is a career worst 108. His PER is 22.9 and his plus/minus is +9.1.

Gordon Hayward: He is the 26th leading scorer, the 76th leading rebounder. He is the 9th best small forward (Real Plus-Minus) and the 39th best defensive small forward (Defensive Real Plus-Minus). He is taking more shots and making more shots this season. His rebounding is a career high as is his scoring, 22.1 points per game. His offensive rating of 118 is a career high and his defensive rating of 106 is his second best. His PER is 22.1 and his plus/minus is +6.7.

The Celtics are hoping neither Griffin nor Hayward make the All-NBA team. That way the $200 million is off the table and the Celtics can be competitive with what they offer, desperate as they are for a star. [Neither Griffin nor Hayward should make an All-NBA team]

Furthermore James Harden and Russell Westbrook can sign supermax extensions this summer which will allow them to stay with their current teams on contracts that will begin in 2018. (Both will have been All-NBA two out of the last three years, not to mention one will win the MVP this year). However, Paul George will only be eligible for a supermax extension if he makes All-NBA this year because he didn’t make All-NBA two of the last three seasons because of injury.


First team: James Harden (G), Russell Westbrook (G), LeBron James (F), Kevin Durant (F), DeMarcus Cousins (C)

Second Team: Steph Curry (G), Jimmy Butler (G), Kawhi Leonard (F), Giannis Antetokounmpo (F), Rudy Gobert (C)

Third Team: John Wall (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Anthony Davis (F), Draymond Green (F), Hassan Whiteside (C)

Snubs: Klay Thompson. Bradley Beal. C.J. McCollum. Damian Lillard, Chris Paul. DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin Paul George, Gordon Hayward