It’s raining green for All-NBA players, thanks to the designated-player exception rule in the new collective bargaining agreement. If you’re an NBA All-Star that wasn’t voted onto one of the three All-NBA teams by a panel of 100 media members, then you’re just straight out of luck.
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and Utah Jazz forward Gordon should have brought their four-leaf clovers on Thursday to redirect the bad news. Both were snubbed from the All-NBA list, which means neither is eligible for a super-max contract.
Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post did a solid job in breaking down the rules that factor into the eligibility of these new contracts.
“A player qualifies for the DPE, which can be used either to give a player a contract extension or to sign him as a free agent, if he does one of the following:
- He makes one of the three all-NBA teams or is named either defensive player of the year or most valuable player for this prior season.
- He has made one of the three all-NBA teams or has been named the defensive player of the year in two of the prior three seasons or the league’s most valuable player in one of the three prior seasons.
And this crucial stipulation: He has to be either on the team that drafted him, or has to have been traded on his rookie deal to another team.”
There are some parameters around the deal that are understandable, particularly the stipulation requiring a player to remain with the team that drafted him. That stipulation might have a profound impact on the formation of super teams in the league.
A superstar player could make upwards of $207 million on a five-year deal if they stay with their original team, but if they signed with another team, they would only be able to max out at around $133 million on a four-year deal.
However, the problems come in with the All-NBA voting.
George and Hayward will receive max deals whether they stay put on their current team or sign with another franchise in the offseason as unrestricted free agents. But there is no arguing both players are legitimate All-Stars in the NBA. If money is being thrown around like free samples in a mini-mart, they deserve a piece of the pie.