DeAndre Jordan received 317.
Yet, Jordan made the first team while Green made the second team.
The NBA explained in its official release:
Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes.
Green got 85 votes at forward and 39 at center, so he was eligible only at forward. Jordan got all 89 of his votes at center.
That’s perfectly reasonable, but it wasn’t always this way.
The NBA changed its rules last offseason after 2015 voting concluded, according to league spokesman Tim Frank. Instead of sliding players to a position they rarely played if they got any votes there, players are now eligible at only the position where they received the most votes (though voters can still mostly slot players where they deem appropriate on individual ballots). An increase in multi-position players sparked the new policy.
And, fundamentally, it’s good switch. The league should have a clear policy and stick with it rather than trying to interpret the line on a case-by-case basis.
Sure, there’s room for quibbling. Is 50% the right threshold rather than, say, 30% Would basing it on points rather than votes work better? Will all forward/centers get tilted toward forward because there are twice as many All-NBA slots at forward than at center?
But, more than anything, a clear and fair policy – and this is both – is better than no set policy.
This is also a noteworthy policy, because it had a clear effect this year.
If Green were the first-team center, Paul George would’ve made the second team at forward and Paul Millsap would’ve been a third-team forward. (Thankfully, Millsap finished ahead of Anthony Davis – who played both power forward and center, got more votes at forward and could’ve made about $25 million more over the next five years due to the Derrick Rose rule – or else this would’ve been a much bigger can of worms). Jordan would’ve been the second-team center, DeMarcus Cousins third-team and Andre Drummond bumped.
On the flip side, adopting the current rule sooner would’ve changed some results from the last couple years.
Cousins was an All-NBA second-team forward last year despite getting more votes at center, and Pau Gasol was the All-NBA second-team center despite getting more votes at forward – which obviously means the net effect is nil.
A more significant position bend came with the 2014 All-Defensive team. Andre Iguodala was a first-team guard despite getting more votes at forward. Holding him at forward would’ve sent him to the second team and bumped Kawhi Leonard. Patrick Beverley would’ve gone to the first team and Tony Allen to the second team at guard.
So, of course they hired someone who’s not particularly interested in defense.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
D’Antoni can be an excellent coach if he has a roster that fits his up-tempo spread style, and a defensive coordinator would also help (Sorry, James). If Houston is committed to surrounding D’Antoni with the requisite resources, this could be a strong hire. On the bright side, this roster is ripe for turnover – notably Dwight Howard, who clashed with D’Antoni on the Lakers.
Most of all, the Rockets just needed a fresh start after last season’s stinker. They were bound to get that no matter whom they hired.
It’ll be on D’Antoni to prove he can provide more of a bump than any viable coach would’ve.
At minimum, though, Houston should be more exciting.
The NBA has released the list of players selected to the three All-NBA teams, and most of them are the people you’d expect to make it. But two players are affected by the voting in very different ways: Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard.
Here are the selections:
FIRST TEAM ALL-NBA
- Guard: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Guard: Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
- Forward: LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers
- Forward: Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
- Center: DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
SECOND TEAM ALL-NBA
- Guard: Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Guard: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Forward: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
- Forward: Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
- Center: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
THIRD TEAM ALL-NBA
- Guard: Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
- Guard: Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
- Forward: Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
- Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
- Center: Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
These selections are fine. There are areas where it’s possible to quibble (is DeMarcus Cousins worthy despite not being on a playoff team? Should Kyle Lowry and Damian Lillard switch spots?) But the voters largely got it right and honored the right group of players.
The much more interesting dynamic is how the voting affects the contracts of Lillard and Davis, who were both Rose rule candidates. The so-called “Derrick Rose” rule, put in place in the 2011 CBA, allows players signed to a five-year “designated player” extension to earn a larger percentage of the cap and higher annual raises if they either a) win MVP, b) get voted as a starter to two All-Star teams, or c) make two All-NBA teams during their rookie contract.
Davis and Lillard both signed five-year max extensions last summer. Davis made first team All-NBA last season, so he would have been eligible for the Rose rule if he had made a team this year. But he fell short in an injury-plagued season in which the Pelicans missed the playoffs. His extension will now be worth around $120 million over the five years, instead of $145 million.
Lillard, meanwhile, made third team All-NBA last season, so his second-team selection this year secures an extra $24 million over the course of his extension. This won’t matter much for the Blazers, who are so far under the salary cap that they can sign pretty much anybody they want, but Lillard has to be happy with the recognition after he was infamously left off the Western Conference All-Star team this season.
This is going to be a big summer for the Orlando Magic. They’ve been rebuilding for the past four years, since the Dwight Howard trade in 2012, and have amassed a promising collection of young talent including Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Mario Hezonja and Aaron Gordon. They just hired a coach, Frank Vogel, with a proven track record of success in the playoffs. Now, they want to take the next step in the rebuilding process and get back into the playoffs. With as much as $46 million in cap room, CEO Alex Martins told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that he wants to make a splash in free agency and add some veterans to surround their prospects.
Why the sudden openness for the notoriously tight-lipped Magic?
“Because that’s what we need at this point in time to take the next step,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “Secondly, this has been a plan, this has been a process. The first part of the plan and the process is to develop your own [players] and grow your own [players]. And when you inject veterans at the wrong period of time, it has an impact in the way that you’re trying to develop your corps of young players. It can’t just happen immediately. It’s got to happen at a certain point in time — after your players have matured and developed.
“And we always believed that this summer and next summer were going to be the two summers of free agency for us that we needed to focus on after developing our young guys.”
The Magic aren’t traditionally a destination franchise for big-name free agents, the exception being the summer of 2000 when they landed Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady. But they made a big offer last summer to Paul Millsap (who decided to stay in Atlanta), and are expected to make a run this summer at Millsap’s teammate, Al Horford. Horford played college basketball at the University of Florida, so he has ties to the area, as does Chandler Parsons. Whether or not they land any of these names, their combination of location (Florida has no state income tax), young talent and a well-respected coach should get them into the conversation this summer.