Who's Ineligible For All-NBA?

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
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Sep 27, 2016
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Pittsburgh, PA
Gonna be some young guys eligible for super max deals that really shouldn't be getting paid that much too
Who do you have in mind, with this description?

Supermax deals (Early eligibility for the 35% max, i.e. with 7-9 years of service instead of 10+) are only going to those who are about to have 7 years of experience, so you'd be hard pressed to call them "young guys", though they might still not really deserve that level of spend. I suppose you could add in Designed Rookie Extensions (30% max for those with 4 years of service, instead of the default 7-9 requirement), basically an early eligibility for the higher number, and I guess those guys are "young" but it's also not a proper "supermax". And we ought to exclude players who get a "Designated Rookie Extension" just by being designated as such by their teams (enabling a 5th year on the extension), but don't qualify for the 30%-max pay bump through meeting the special criteria.

And even signing a contract that allows for it does not make it a sure thing to happen. Since the supermax rules were implemented, 29 players have signed designated contracts, which either pay them the higher rate they're entitled to, or at least enable them to qualify for it - but they only have 1 year to qualify for the bump (e.g. from 25% to up-to-30% on a Designated Rookie Extension). So of those 29, 11 were Designated Veterans eligible for 35% (Gobert only got 31% though, LOL), the other 18 were Designated Rookie Extensions with the potential to climb above 25% - but then only 4 of those 18 ended up qualifying for their higher % (Siakam, Simmons, Luka, Trae, all via All-NBA). That's the "Rose Rule": Tatum, for example, did not qualify for the bump to 30%, because you only get one year into your designated rookie extension to qualify, he signed summer 2020, and did not make all-NBA in spring 2021. Likewise SGA, who signed summer 2021, did not make the 2022 all-NBA, so he's staying on his 25% even though he made the 1st-Team in 2023.

Rose Rule candidates last year (signed Designated Rookie Extensions summer 2022 at 25%, needed to make 2023 All-NBA to get the bump to 30%) were 0/3: Ja Morant, Zion Williamson and Darius Garland. Candidates this year also number 3: Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, and LaMelo Ball.

All told, in 6 seasons, the league is averaging ~2 designated veteran contracts for 35%, and ~3 designated rookie extensions, per year - but less than 1/3 of those rookie extensions ends up paying out >25%. There really aren't very many players getting these, and the few who do look pretty deserving to me.

Reviewing the contract status of names even peripherally in the All-NBA discussion, and excluding veterans of 10+ years who are by-default eligible for 35% like Jrue, I see these guys, in descending order of likelihood to be eligible this summer:

Jayson Tatum - already eligible for the 35% supermax due to all-NBA the last two years, we all know he's getting every penny, and clearly deserves it.

De'Aaron Fox - would be eligible for 35% supermax if he makes All-NBA again, which isn't much of a stretch (was 3rd-Team last year, his only selection). He's a great player, but I'd agree maybe not quite in the tier with the rest of the 35% guys.

Tyrese Haliburton - Probably the likeliest winner of the Rose Rule ("mini-max") sweepstakes, an All-NBA selection means a lot of money to him, a bump from 25% to 30% over the next 5 seasons. He got only 1 point in last year's All-NBA voting, but he's clearly taken a big leap this year, and feels worth the 30% to me. I'd certainly give him that contract. Some slight risk of not hitting 65 games, though.

Anthony Edwards - Got more All-NBA equity last year (14 points) than Haliburton, but is in the more crowded field of forwards. Yes, the voting is "positionless", but he's still being compared to his peers when voters are filling things out. Even if Kawhi is done for the year at 58 games, there are a lot of big names he'd need to leap over. But if he does, I think he's very worth 30%.

Bam Adebayo - Despite 2 years remaining on his contract, they can give him the full 35% supermax if he makes All-NBA, and can give him 30% right now if there were mutual interest. He's a 3x all-star but only got 9 points in all-NBA voting last year, so while he's not super far from being in the picture, a selection would be a pretty big surprise. I would see 35% as overvaluing him a bit, especially since he hasn't really taken a leap over the last few years (DARKO seems him as a pretty consistent ~2 DPM player, ~80th percentile in the league).

Jamal Muray - eligible for 30% via service time, would be eligible for 35% if All-NBA, but didn't get a single all-NBA vote last year so him making it would be quite surprising. I think clearly worth superstar pay, given his fit with Jokic and the rest of their team and how well his game translates to the playoffs, and that he has been improving each of the last few years.

Brandon Ingram - operating on a Designated Rookie Extension (25%), he's eligible for 35% if he makes all-NBA. New Orleans can extend him at 30% whenever they like at this point, as of last November, so he's probably waiting around for a very-unlikely all-NBA selection. If he somehow does, I would agree he's clearly in your "shouldn't get paid that much" bucket, but that's a big "If".


Pascal Siakam - impending free agent, he would have been eligible if he made all-NBA (and he got 15 points in last year's voting, so not a huge stretch), but because he was traded, he now has to wait 2 more years until 10 years service time to be eligible for 35%. He's eligible for 30% this offseason, to the highest bidder.

OG Anunoby - He can decline his $20M '24-25 option and become a FA this summer, and can sign for 30% (7 years service time), but can't get the early supermax until 10 years because he was traded. Someone will probably overpay for him, but it's unaffected by All-NBA.

Lauri Markkanen - Was very close to all-NBA last year (49 points), might actually make it this year, but because he was traded after his first 4 years (twice, in his case), he's only eligible for the 30% max, won't be eligible for 35% until 10 years, and All-NBA won't affect that at all. I expect Utah to give him every bit of his 30%, though, and you'd be hard pressed to say he won't deserve it.

Donovan Mitchell - 5 consecutive all-star selections, All-NBA 2nd Team last year, on track to repeat that, but was traded in his 5th season so he's ineligible for 35%. Cleveland can give him 30% today (which would extend onto the end of his '24-25 contract season), but he's making them wait on that. Maybe Garland is enough backup for him to want to stay, but it's always possible he runs it down and hits FA, since the money he could get would be the same.

Zion Williamson - as noted in the spoiler, he was in the Rose Rule bucket last year, and even though he seems likely to make All-NBA this year now that he's healthy again, it will do him no good in terms of getting the large bump in salary.

So yeah, I don't see many names on that list who I'd be upset to give the 35% to (or the bump to 30% for the mini-max qualifiers). If Adebayo or somehow Brandon Ingram make it, I would think you correct in the "too much" category. If I were their GM, I'd be somewhat happy to give it to Fox and Murray, and very happy to give Haliburton or Edwards their bump to 30%. All of them have stakes in the All-NBA voting, and all 6 could benefit from players above them in the NBA pecking order being ineligible due to the games-played rule. But how many would really be undeserving?

(Some good discussion here. Also, those in the mix for summer 2025: Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Brunson, Jaren Jackson)
 
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the moops

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Jan 19, 2016
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Was not talking about this year specifically, just that there is a world where 7 or 8 deserving guys don't make it because of not meeting the games minimum and there are some underserving guys who you really don't want to be paying the supermax to.

Last year, Giannis, Curry, Butler, Lillard, and Lebron all made an all-NBA team but none would be eligible this year. Luka and Embiid just made the cutoff for they played 66 games. Jaylen, Mitchell, SGA also all just made the cutoff (67, 68, 68 respectively).

If a few more of those guys had an additional nagging injury, well, you are down to like the 25th best player making an all-NBA team
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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No one is making these teams offer the supermax to players that they don't feel like are good enough to earn it.
 

the moops

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Jan 19, 2016
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No one is making these teams offer the supermax to players that they don't feel like are good enough to earn it.
I mean we have decades of data showing that teams overpay for players all the time. Not sure how we can be confident that a team isn't going to give 35% max to a non dersrving player so that they don't lose said player
 

Euclis20

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Aug 3, 2004
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Was not talking about this year specifically, just that there is a world where 7 or 8 deserving guys don't make it because of not meeting the games minimum and there are some underserving guys who you really don't want to be paying the supermax to.

Last year, Giannis, Curry, Butler, Lillard, and Lebron all made an all-NBA team but none would be eligible this year. Luka and Embiid just made the cutoff for they played 66 games. Jaylen, Mitchell, SGA also all just made the cutoff (67, 68, 68 respectively).

If a few more of those guys had an additional nagging injury, well, you are down to like the 25th best player making an all-NBA team
Other than Butler, the guys in bold will all easily clear the threshold (and Butler very loudly doesn't give a shit). They are examples of the rules working exactly as they should - encouraging players to play as many games as they can. If the rules existed last year, I'm sure some of those guys would've played more games last year.

I get the worry (that a lot of the best players will be ineligible because of the rules, and lesser guys will get the honors), but that's always been the case. Making all-nba voting positionless helps that (Deandre Jordan having 3 all-NBA selections will never not be insane), but less than a year in, I think anyone with an inch of distance (i.e. not the guys who will take a huge financial hit because they miss the games played threshold) has to say that the games played requirement has been a massive success.