Jazz center Rudy Gobert was named to the All-NBA Third Team earlier today, and while he was not named to an All-NBA team last season, he will still be eligible for a Designated Veteran Extension in the summer of 2020, reports Tim Bontemps of ESPN, because he was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2017/18 season.
It’s always been clear that to be eligible for a Designated Veteran Extension, a player must:
- have 7 or 8 years of service at the time the extension is signed;
- have 1 or 2 years remaining on his current contract;
- play with the same team continuously since entering the league, unless he was traded during his first four years in the league; and
- meet the 35% Max Criteria
Gobert clearly meets the first three requirements. In the summer of 2020, he will have played seven seasons in the NBA, all for the Jazz, and have one year left on his contract. The fourth requirement wasn’t so clear. Before today, it seemed to be generally understood (h/t to Larry Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ) that a player qualified for the 35% Max Criteria if:
- He was named to the All-NBA First, Second, or Third team in the most recent season, or both of the two seasons that preceded the most recent season;
- He was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season, or both of the two seasons that preceded the most recent season; or
- He was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in any of the three most recent seasons.
Gobert was named All-NBA Third Team this season, but did not make an All-NBA team last season. Gobert was named Defensive Player of Year last season, but that award hasn’t been handed out yet for this season. So how does Gobert meet the 35% Max Criteria?
Bobby Marks of ESPN provides the answer, tweeting that the NBA is allowing players to combine DPOY and All-NBA when factoring in whether a player met the criteria in “both of the two seasons that preceded the most recent season” (here, the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons, as Gobert’s extension would kick in after the 2019/20 season).
So, because Gobert earned DPOY or All-NBA in both 2017/18 and 2018/19, he meets the 35% Max Criteria and is eligible for a Designated Veteran Extension in 2020.
If the Jazz are willing to put that super-max extension on the table for Gobert, it would go into effect in 2021/22 and would add five years and an estimated $247MM to his current contract.