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How the All-NBA team selections make Edwards, Dončić and others millions richer


How the All-NBA team selections make Edwards, Dončić and others millions richer

BOSTON — Luka Dončić, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton were among the 15 NBA stars to receive all-league honors Wednesday, but theirs came with massive financial bonuses.

First, second and third All-NBA teams were unveiled before Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Dončić, who is playing in the series for the Dallas Mavericks, was named to the first team, along with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gilgeous-Alexander of Oklahoma City, reigning NBA MVP and Denver center Nikola Jokić and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.

Named to the All-NBA second team were Minnesota’s Edwards, who is also in the Western finals, the Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant of the Suns, Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers and Jalen Brunson of the Knicks. The third team is Haliburton of the Pacers, Stephen Curry of the Warriors, LeBron James of the Lakers, Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis and Devin Booker of the Suns. 

Dončić and Gilgeous-Alexander are set to become massively richer than they already are thanks to something known in league circles as the “Jayson Tatum rule”. 

Neither player is eligible for a contract extension this summer because of service time (six years for both players), but next year they will be. Each player will have been on All-NBA teams in at least two of the previous three seasons by the time the summer of 2025 arrives, a requirement to qualify for the maximum contract extension allowed by NBA rule. Dončić’s contract extension would be worth $346 million over five years; Gilgeous-Alexander’s $294 million over the same period.

In the cases of Haliburton and Edwards, the massive rookie-scale contracts they signed last summer will go up in value by about $40 million. Both signed five-year, $204 million extensions that were to increase if they were to earn an All-NBA selection for the first time, per league rule.

Haliburton played through injuries this season to ensure he played at least 65 regular-season games to be eligible for an All-NBA selection.

“Yeah that’d be cool, not gonna lie,” Haliburton said Wednesday, before all-league selections were announced. The Pacers practiced in Boston before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, which is Thursday.

Obviously, we know the financial benefit for me,” Haliburton said. “And I think it’s just the fruits of my labor. It would be cool to see that appreciation shown in my game.”

Antetokounmpo, who was second in the NBA in scoring this season, made the All-NBA first team for the sixth consecutive year, joining legend Jerry West. Dončić, the league’s top scorer at 33.9 points per game and second-best assists man, is a first-teamer for the fifth consecutive year — joining Dwight Howard, George Gervin, and George Mikan.

Jokić, now a three-time NBA MVP after winning the award two weeks ago, and Gilgeous-Alexander, runner-up to Jokić in MVP voting, were unanimous selections to the first team. Dončić received 98 out of a possible 99 votes for the first team from the panel of global sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NBA, while Antetokounmpo picked up 88 votes.

Tatum, whose Celtics are ahead of the Pacers, 1-0, in the Eastern finals, received 65 first-team votes to Brunson’s 37. This is Jokić’s fourth consecutive first-team selection and the third in a row for Tatum.

James, 39, extended his league record for consecutive years on any All-NBA team to 20. Durant made an All-NBA list for the 11th time in his career and this was the 10th selection for Curry.

This year, voters were able to select their choices without restrictions by position – a change from years past. There ended up being two guards (Dončić, Gilgeous-Alexander), two forwards (Tatum, Antetokounmpo), and one center (Jokić) on the first team anyway, but in years past voters have had to decide whether Jokić or Joel Embiid would make the first team at center. This year they wouldn’t have had to, but Embiid wasn’t eligible anyway because he did not reach the 65-game threshold.

NBA awards season is now complete. Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert was Defensive Player of the Year; the Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama the Rookie of the Year; Philadelphia’s Tyrese Maxey the Most Improved Player; Sacramento’s Malik Monk the Sixth Man; Curry the Clutch Player; and Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault the top coach. These are the individual awards decided by media members covering the league. All defensive and all-rookie teams were also announced this week.

The Athletic’s Eric Nehm contributed to this story.

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(Photo: C. Morgan Engel / Getty Images)

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