Yesterday, the All-NBA teams were announced and there were a few very noticeable players left off the list. While only fifteen players can be considered All-NBA (first, second or third team), there were elite players left off the list. Most notably Paul George, Klay Thompson and Gordon Hayward. These three players being left off the list had more of an impact than just not winning an award. In the case of Paul George and Gordon Hayward, around 70 million dollars have now been lost because of this All-NBA snub.
Under the new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, players must meet certain criteria in order to get paid a “super max deal”. While this agreement is complicated, the basic rules of earning a super max contract are as followed. A Player must be entering his eighth or ninth year of his contract. That player must also either win defensive player of the year in the previous season, MVP in one of the previous three seasons or All-NBA in the previous season or the prior two. Although there are other complicated details involved those are the main rules as well as being a free agent or eligible for a contract extension.
So what teams benefit from this? Well it is definitely not the Jazz or the Pacers. While money may not be the only factor in deciding where these two go when their contracts are up, it may have play a huge part. Especially in the case of Paul George who has spoken out many times about his desire to go to the Lakers. If the Pacers and Jazz wanted any real shot of signing their franchise players back, being able to give them more money would have really helped. It is now complete fair game when it comes to money, any team who has the space can offer George or Hayward the same money as their current teams would be able to. Because of the snubs it will come down to location and play-style along with other facts. In which case it does not look good for Indiana or Utah, which have never been cities in which stars planned on staying their whole careers in. The Celtics are the favorite to land Hayward and the Lakers are the favorite to land George. With these two top basketball franchises in the drivers seat, it doesn’t look good for the two current franchises.
Although this seems to come as a surprise, this was no accident. This new negotiation in the super max is the reason why George and Hayward failed to make the teams. The NBA has always been known for being questionable when it comes to the integrity of their game. Questions of their referees during big games, draft lottery and other issues have popped up over the last 20-30 years. Although this was not a direct result of the NBA, it stems for the bargaining agreement. It was the NBA and the players who agreed to this super max stipulation. It was the NBA and the players who agreed on who was able to vote for the All-NBA teams. The voting is conducted by a panel or sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the league. So what is wrong with that? The job of a sports writer is to report on stories. The bigger the stories, the bigger the articles. The NBA writers knew the stipulation and could have purposely held Hayward and George out. Hayward to the Celtics and George to the Lakers would be huge headlines. It seemed like a smart move by the writers to find a loophole in this CBA, but it was at the expense of millions of dollars coming out of Paul George and Gordon Hayward’s contracts.