How All-NBA selections affect upcoming contracts; Giannis in line for record deal, Kemba Walker eligible for supermax
Meanwhile Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal and Karl-Anthony Towns missed out on large chunks of money
The 2018-19on Thursday, and with them come some serious money ramifications both for players who made one of the teams and a couple specific players who didn't make the cut.
First, here are this year's teams:
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Paul George, Thunder
Without getting into the weeds of the CBA language, let's just understand that making one of the three All-NBA teams in the year prior to the end of your contract, or in two of the three years prior, makes a player eligible for a bigger contract with his original team. If you have switched teams as a free agent, or if you have been traded after the expiration of your rookie contract, you lose that advantage.
For instance, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard both made the All-NBA second team, but they have already been traded from their original team after their rookie deal. So making the All-NBA team for them, at least in terms of extra money, didn't change anything. If they were still with the Cavaliers and Spurs, respectively, it would've triggered super-max extension eligibility.
Kemba Walker, on the other hand, has been with the Hornets all along and potentially just made himself a bunch of money by making the All-NBA third team if he stays in Charlotte. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo can now sign the largest deal in NBA history in 2020 after making All-NBA team two years in a row. Again, if either leaves their current team, they would give up the right to that extra money. This is all meant to incentivize the top players in the league to stay with the franchises that drafted them, rather than small-market teams like Charlotte and Milwaukee having to watch their best players walk because they can get the same money anywhere.
With that said, here are some potential money and team ramifications based on who made, and didn't make, one of this year's All-NBA teams.
*** These figures are give-or-take estimates based on future salary cap projections
After making All-NBA last year and again being named to the first team this year, Giannis has ensured two All-NBA selections in the past three years with his contract up in 2020. What that means, very simply, is that in the summer of 2020 Giannis will be eligible to sign the biggest deal in NBA history.
Again, Giannis would have to stay in Milwaukee to take advantage of this super-max eligibility, but this would appear to be some pretty strong incentive to do so. If he were to leave, he would only be eligible to sign for four years, $141 million with another team. That's more than $100 million in extra guaranteed money to stay in Milwaukee, in part thanks to making these All-NBA teams.
By making the All-NBA third team, Walker becomes eligible to sign a five-year super-max extension with the Hornets worth $221 million. If Walker hadn't made All-NBA, the most he could've gotten from Charlotte would've been five years, $190 million. In other words, if Walker were to decide to stay in Charlotte this summer, and choose to sign for the full five years, this All-NBA selection will have made him an extra $31 million in guaranteed money.
Now, if Walker were to leave Charlotte, the most he could get from another team would be four years, $141 million. Put that next to the $221 million the Hornets can now offer, and that's $80 million extra in guaranteed money spread over five years to stay in Charlotte. Not exactly chump change.
Now, is Charlotte comfortable offering Walker $221 million? He's obviously not enough on his own to even make this Hornets team a playoff squad, let alone a contender. The Hornets have failed to bring in a significant second option to pair with Walker, and paying Kemba the super-max would further restrict their ability to do so.
In short, Kemba made himself eligible to make a lot more money this offseason by making the All-NBA team. Whether he'll accept it over leaving Charlotte for a contender, or whether the Hornets would even feel comfortable offering it, is another story. We'll see.
Lillard is not in a contract year. He still has two years and $62 million left on the five-year, $140 million deal he signed in 2015. But by making the All-NBA second team, he is now eligible to sign either a four-year, $191 million extension this summer or a five-year, $250 million extension next summer, neither of which he would've been eligible to do had he missed out on All-NBA.
, which, barring a trade, will keep him with the Blazers for the next six years -- the two years left on his current deal plus the four extra years.
Had Beal made one of the All-NBA teams, he would've been eligible for the same four-year, $191 million extension Lillard is expected to sign. Lillard and Beal, in fact, were drafted in the same 2012 class and both are still with their original teams. Beal got the most All-NBA votes among all the players who didn't make the cut -- 34 -- but Russell Westbrook and Walker got the third-team nods.
A lot of people would argue with the Westbrook selection over Beal, who had a career year for Washington while Westbrook had another awful shooting season. Had Beal made it, both he and the Wizards would've had a very interesting decision on their hands. From Beal's perspective, do you take the extra guaranteed money and, barring a trade, stay in Washington for the next six years? Or do you forego the money for the time being and keep your options open when your current deal runs out in 2021?
From the Wizards' side, maxing out Beal would be a big commitment when John Wall is already making brain-boggling money -- just under $171 million over the next four years. For now, this decision is postponed as Beal didn't make the All-NBA team and thus isn't up for a max extension yet. At least Washington can take some time now to consider its options with Beal -- whether that be maxing him out once that becomes an option or trading him in the interim.
This one is pretty simple. Klay Thompson is a free agent this summer, and he has said he wants a max deal from the Warriors. Had he made an All-NBA team, that deal could've been for the full five years, $221 million. But being that Klay didn't make the All-NBA cut, the most he can sign for this summer is five years, $191 million.
Do the math, and assuming he stays with Golden State and it gives him the most it's eligible to give him, missing out on All-NBA will have cost Thompson $30 million in guaranteed money. This is the same as Kemba Walker, only the reverse. Kemba can get the full $221 million because he made the third team. Klay can't because he didn't. This obviously saves the Warriors some money, because they're almost certainly going to offer Klay all they are allowed to offer.
Towns signed a five-year max extension last September. Had he made the All-NBA team this season, that deal would've been worth $190 million. By not making one of the three teams, the deal will only pay Towns $158 million. That's a $32 million loss by not making the All-NBA cut.
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