The NBA announced their All-NBA first, second and third team selections today.
The league is in a bittersweet space right now. First of all, the regular season was fantastic. The playoffs, on the other hand, have been subpar. Furthermore, it seems like a foregone conclusion that the Finals will be another addition to the Cavaliers/Warriors trilogy we’ve been anticipating.
There have been enough captivating storylines during the regular season to hold us over until we can witness the showdown we’ve been waiting for in June. This week, The Boston Celtics won the NBA Draft lottery (via the Brooklyn Nets) to earn the number one pick in next month’s NBA Draft.
All-NBA team selections always warrant healthy debates. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the media’s selections for the 2016-17 All-NBA teams.
Guard: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Guard: James Harden, Houston Rockets
Forward: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Forward: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Center: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Guard: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Guard: Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
Forward: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Center: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
Guard: John Wall, Washington Wizards
Guard: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Forward: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Forward: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Center: DeAndre Jordan, LA Clippers
The first team was pretty predictable. Russell Westbrook had a historic season, being the only player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for the season. James Harden led his team to 55 wins in a very competitive western conference. Kawhi Leonard took the reins of the San Antonio Spurs after the Tim Duncan era, and has evolved into a top-three player in the league.
We’re ushering in a new era as the only All-NBA player remaining from the 2003 draft class is LeBron James. After cruising through the regular season, James is dominating the postseason and is en route to a seventh straight NBA Finals appearance.
All-NBA selections have been controversial in recent years and the fact that someone left Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook off the first team is generating some heat.
Then, there are the financial ramifications. Anthony Davis failed to make an All-NBA team in 2016, due to an injury-riddled season. As a result, the four-time All-Star lost $24 million in potential bonuses.
Most noteworthy, the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward were the odd ones out this season. After being selected for the All-NBA third team last season, Paul George missed the cut for all three teams today.
According to ESPN, if George or Hayward made an All-NBA team, they had the potential to qualify for the new Designated Player Extension that is part of the collective bargaining agreement that begins July 1. The two All-Stars would’ve been able to sign a five-year deals with their respective teams for approximately $210 million.
What does this mean for the futures of George and Hayward? Will George leave Indiana? Will Hayward leave Utah? It’s quite possible.
Keep an eye on the Celtics. They’re one piece away from challenging the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference and would love to acquire George or Hayward.