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.