The second overall favorite (4-1 odds) to win the 2015-2016 NBA Regular Season MVP endured a disappointing campaign riddled by injury on a mediocre-at-best team. With the current way the NBA collective bargaining agreement is set up, “The Rose Rule” allows players who transition from their rookie to second contracts within the same franchise to earn up to 30 percent of the team’s total salary cap IF the individual is voted as a starter in the All-Star Game twice or named to an All-NBA team twice.
While Davis was an All-NBA First Team selection last year and started in the All-Star Game the same season, neither happened during the 2015-16 season. Per his contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, Davis will lose in the neighborhood of $24 million as his five-year deal adjusts to $120 million from $144 million. (Hey, at least the Pelicans have some more cap space to go spend on retaining Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik.)
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Despite having talent that certainly warrants a discussion of him being the NBA’s most gifted basketball player, Davis deserved to be omitted from this award and experience the pain of these significant lost wages.
For as unstoppable as he is when on the court, the Unibrow’s biggest challenge since turning pro has been avoiding the dreaded injury bug. While every human body is different than the others and not everyone in the NBA can operate physically at the levels LeBron James does, the next step in the superstar career progression for Davis is finding a way to perform consistently from the beginning of October through June.
2) Speaking of “The Rose Rule”, Damian Lillard’s second team honors just made him a richer man…
Despite posting career highs in points per game (29.1), assists (7.5), and rebounds (6.1) – the NBA got this one right. Why? Last time I checked, basketball is a two-way sport that requires players to perform offensively and defensively. Despite his prowess on the offensive side of the ball, Harden’s defensive effort is the epitome of inefficient and at times destructive.
Damian Lillard's berth on the All-NBA Second Team makes his extension from last summer more than $20 million richer thanks to the Rose Rule.
With this said, there is absolutely no reason why ‘Center’ deserves its own slot on “All-NBA” anymore. As the league’s style of play and mainstream offensive strategies rapidly move towards ideologies such as “smallball”, “pace and space”, and incorporate advanced analytics – the traditional “big man” in today’s game is an endangered species. I don’t want to make it sound like it’s completely extinct, because all three centers on this year’s list are deserving candidates and are consistently dominant despite the evolution of today’s NBA.
However, it is an absolute travesty that the most important player (Draymond Green) on the league’s best team/best regular season team in professional basketball history did not win first-team honors.
Whether you believe Draymond is the MVP of the Warriors is a conversation for another day, but, for this particular hypothesis: “All-NBA” positions cannot be viewed the same way doctors analyze blood types.
LeBron James is as much of a point guard as he is a forward. Draymond Green rotates from bringing the ball up the floor to defending the biggest player on the opposing team nightly. Kevin Durant is a seven-foot shooting guard.
One of the many reasons we don't vote on awards at The Vertical. The NBA should set players salaries — not us. https://t.co/kQ5YHKiiQ5