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Southwest Notes: Davis, Belinelli, Carter

In just his third season in the league, Anthony Davis has made a case to win the MVP award. The Kentucky product is averaging 24.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 1.5 steals per game, while leading the league with a 30.91 player efficiency rating. If Davis takes home the Maurice Podoloff trophy either this year or next, he could benefit financially if he signs an extension with the Pelicans because he would meet the fifth year 30% max criteria. These criteria, known collectively as the Derrick Rose rule, would allow him to receive roughly 30% of the salary cap as his starting salary in an extension, as opposed to roughly 25%, which is usually reserved for players with 0-6 years of experience. Davis could also meet the criteria if during his first four years in the league, he makes two All-NBA teams or is twice voted as a starter in the All-Star game. Davis was voted as starter for the first time in the 2015 All-Star game and is likely to make his first All-NBA team this season. Davis would meet the criteria if he accomplishes either of those feats again during the 2015/16 season, even if he signs an extension before that happens when he is eligible this offseason.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Marco Belinelli will be a free agent at the end of season and it’s uncertain whether he will return to San Antonio next season, as he says in an interview with II Corriere dello Sport, which is translated by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. At 29-year-old, Belinelli acknowledges that salary will be an important factor in his decision in free agency.
  • Vince Carter has battled injuries this season, but the 38-year-old guard is not looking to retire after the season, Scott Cacciola of The New York Times  writes. “I can’t imagine not playing.” said Carter, who signed a three year, $12MM deal with the Grizzlies last offseason. “I can’t accept that yet. I’m not at the point where I wake up and it’s like, I’m tired of this. Being around these young guys makes you feel young, I promise you.”
  • Ian Thomsen of chronicles Carter’s time in the league starting in 1998 when he was an intriguing young prospect with star potential to this season where he is an elder statesman for a contender in Memphis.

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