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As the NBA postseason chugs along toward naming another champion, the league has been unveiling its regular-season awards. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won his second consecutive MVP award, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart locked up Defensive Player of the Year honors, and Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams led his team to a 64-18 record en route to his first Coach of the Year award.
The NBA also just released its All-NBA teams. These 15 guys are voted as the best players of the year. And unlike the All-Star Game, making the All-NBA team can have significant financial implications.
A player is eligible for a rookie max extension if he meets any of these criteria: winning the MVP in his second year or later; winning a Defensive Player of the Year award in his fourth season, or in two out of three seasons after his rookie year; or making the All-NBA team in his fourth season or in two out of three seasons after his rookie year. Similarly, a player in their eighth or ninth season is eligible for a supermax deal if he accomplishes any of the following: winning MVP once in the previous three seasons; winning Defensive Player of the Year the previous year or in two of the previous three seasons; or making the All-NBA team the previous year or in two of the previous three seasons.
After this year’s All-NBA teams were announced, three players are in line to make a ton of money.
Phoenix’s Devin Booker made all-NBA first team, while Atlanta’s Trae Young and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns made All-NBA third team. They’re now all eligible for major extensions.
Booker and Towns — both 2015 NBA draftees — are eligible to sign a four-year, $211 million supermax extension. That new contract would begin in the 2024-25 season. The first year would pay both players $47.1 million apiece, while they’d each earn $58.4 million in the final year of the deal (the 2027-28 season).
Meanwhile, Young already signed a rookie max extension that kicks off next season. However, because he made the All-NBA team, that contract increases from $176.9 million to $212.3 million. It also adds to Atlanta’s salary cap, pushing them further into the luxury tax. Paying Young might mean cutting someone else from the roster.
One other player that could make big money is Memphis’s Ja Morant. He’s currently eligible to sign a four-year, $186 million rookie max extension that would kick in after next year. However, he’s only in his third season, so he has another opportunity to make an All-NBA team before his current contract is up. If he pulls that off, his rookie max extension will jump to $223 million.
In some cases, awards are nothing more than a vanity announcement. For NBA players, though, awards can bring them obscene amounts of extra money.