Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah, Paul George, Chris Paul, Serge Ibaka and Andre Iguodala make up this year’s All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced in a press release. LeBron James, Patrick Beverley, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Roy Hibbert are on the second team. The news is a boon for the Bulls, who would have had to pay Taj Gibson a $250K bonus for making either the first or second All-Defensive teams. Chicago scrambled late in the season to avoid the possibility that such a bonus for Gibson would force the team to pay the luxury tax. Earning the bonus would have pushed Gibson’s salary cap figure higher for next season, too, since it would have been considered a “likely” bonus for next season.
Noah received 105 first-place votes, far outdistancing George, who with 65 first-place votes earned the second most. Iguodala and James received an identical number of first-place votes (57), but Iguodala’s 34 second-team votes were better than the four-time MVP’s 20, allowing Golden State’s swingman to take the final position on the first team.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was the highest vote-getter who missed the cut for the second team, followed by Anthony Davis and Tony Allen. Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard were next, directly in front of Gibson.