- Clippers guard Terance Mann exploded onto the national scene on Friday with a career-high 39 points as his team eliminated the Jazz. Some members of the Knicks’ front office lobbied to acquire Mann in the Marcus Morris deal last year, Ian Begley of SNY tweets. The Clippers retained Mann and instead shipped Maurice Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick and 2021 second-rounder to the Knicks.
Ball, who was named Rookie of the Year on Thursday, led first-year NBA players in assists (6.1 APG) and steals (1.59 SPG) and ranked second in scoring (15.7 PPG) and rebounding (5.9 RPG) for the Hornets. Edwards, the No. 1 pick in the draft by the Timberwolves, averaged a rookie-high 19.3 PPG.
The Kings’ Haliburton ranked third among rookies in scoring (13.0 PPG) and second in assists (5.3 APG). Bey, the 19th overall pick, made a rookie-high 175 three-pointers for the Pistons. Tate, who went undrafted in 2018 and played in Australia last season, averaged 11.3 PPG and 5.3 PPG for the Rockets.
Ball and Edwards were the only unanimous First Team selections, receiving 99 of 99 potential First Team votes. Haliburton got 98, while Bey had 63 and Tate received 57.
Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley narrowly missed out on the top five, having earned 51 votes for the First Team.
Here are both All-Rookie teams in full, with their voting point totals notes in parentheses. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.
2020/21 All-Rookie First Team:
- LaMelo Ball, Hornets (198)
- Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves (198)
- Tyrese Haliburton, Kings (197)
- Saddiq Bey, Pistons (162)
- Jae’Sean Tate, Rockets (154)
2020/21 All-Rookie Second Team:
- Immanuel Quickley, Knicks (148)
- Desmond Bane, Grizzlies (88)
- Isaiah Stewart, Pistons (71)
- Isaac Okoro, Cavaliers (53)
- Patrick Williams, Bulls (50)
Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo (42), Magic guard Cole Anthony (40), and Warriors center James Wiseman (24) were among the players who just missed the cut. Nine other players received votes — you can view the full voting results right here.
Bobby Portis played for the Knicks during the 2019/20 season and it’s not out of the question he’ll return for a second stint, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Portis is widely expected to decline his $3.8MM player option, which would make him an unrestricted free agent this summer. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Knicks were interested in the Bucks’ power forward, who averaged 11.4 PPG and 7.1 RPG this season. They declined a $15MM option on Portis last offseason but were open to him returning at a reduced price, Berman adds.
- The Knicks desperately tried to convince Kevin Durant to join them in free agency and keep him away from the Nets, claims Matt Sullivan’s new book, “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow” (hat tip to NetsDaily.com). The Knicks even went so far as to urge Durant’s father Wayne Pratt — a Knicks fan — to intervene and convince his son to play with them. That approach backfired on them, as Sullivan detailed.
- The Knicks, Sixers, Heat and Mavericks would seem to be logical destinations for the Raptors’ longtime point guard Kyle Lowry if he leaves Toronto. Eric Koreen of The Athletic takes a closer look at how Lowry would fit onto each of those teams.
Antetokounmpo and Nuggets‘ MVP Nikola Jokic were the two top vote-getters, combining for 998 out of a possible 1,000 points, with Warriors guard Stephen Curry following shortly behind. Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic rounding out the top five.
The full All-NBA teams are listed below, with their vote totals in parentheses. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote, and one point for a Third Team vote, so Giannis scored a perfect 500 — First Team nods from all 100 voters.
All-NBA First Team
- Guard: Stephen Curry, Warriors (496)
- Guard: Luka Doncic, Mavericks (402)
- Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (500)
- Forward: Kawhi Leonard, Clippers (323)
- Center: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets (498)
All-NBA Second Team
- Guard: Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (372)
- Guard: Chris Paul, Suns (311)
- Forward: LeBron James, Lakers (174)
- Forward: Julius Randle, Knicks (253)
- Center: Joel Embiid, Sixers (352)
All-NBA Third Team
- Guard: Kyrie Irving, Nets (61)
- Guard: Bradley Beal, Wizards (71)
- Forward: Paul George, Clippers (89)
- Forward: Jimmy Butler, Heat (131)
- Center: Rudy Gobert, Jazz (48)
Among the players who just missed the cut were Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (69), Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (44), Nets guard James Harden (41), Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (37) and Heat center Bam Adebayo (32). A total of 12 other players received votes. The full results can be found here.
Today’s announcement has major financial implications across the league. Tatum, who received more votes than Kyrie Irving but still fell 20 votes short of a final forward spot, will lose out on a projected $32.6MM on his rookie scale extension, as his next deal will start at 25% of the cap instead of the 30% he would have received if he’d been named to an All-NBA team. Likewise, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Kings guard De’Aaron Fox and Adebayo will all receive starting salaries worth 25% of the cap on their respective extensions as a result of missing out on All-NBA honors.
Doncic, having been named to his second consecutive All-NBA First Team, will be eligible for a 30% extension that would be worth a projected $201MM+ and is almost certain to be offered this summer. Doncic has previously made clear his intentions to sign the extension when offered. It will go into effect for the 2022/23 season.
Embiid is now eligible for a super-max contract extension, which would run for four years, starting in 2023/24, and would be worth a projected $191MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. It’s unclear whether the Sixers will immediately put this extension on the table this offseason.
Bradley Beal‘s deal will not change with his first career All-NBA selection, as he is already eligible for a 35% contract extension on his next deal. Jokic, having been named MVP previously this week, also sees no change in his possible future super-max extension, which will be worth approximately $241MM.
- Mike Vorkunov and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic take a deep dive into the Knicks‘ offseason, exploring the team’s primary goals, its cap situation, and the prospects that might be the best fits at Nos. 19 and 21 in the draft.
- After an encouraging return to the playoffs this season, the Knicks could be in the market for a point guard upgrade. Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic considers whether Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard could be a realistic trade target for New York. Whether or not Portland would even be interested in dealing their All-NBA point guard for a trade package from the Knicks is another matter.
The Heat and Spurs have interest in signing unrestricted free agent Warriors swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. this summer, per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Goodwill also lists the Knicks among Oubre’s prospective suitors, which aligns with a previous report from Marc Berman of the New York Post stating that there was mutual interest between Oubre and New York.
Oubre signed a two-year, $30MM contract extension while with the Suns in 2019.
In his lone season with Golden State, Oubre showcased his value as a defensive-oriented athletic wing, and could help fill needs for all three clubs mentioned by Goodwill, who predicts that the 25-year-old will be on the move during the 2021 offseason.
Though the 6’7″ wing out of Kansas connected on a middling 31.6% of his long-range looks during the 2020/21 season, there is hope that he can return to something approaching the respectable 35.2% three point shooting mark he enjoyed in ’19/20 with the Suns.
Goodwill notes that comparable non-All-Star wings of a similar age have fetched a respectable annual sum lately, citing salaries ranging from $12MM-$21MM per year.
The Spurs and Heat could both carve out significant cap space this summer, depending on their decisions when it comes to re-signing free agents such as DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Patty Mills (for San Antonio) and Victor Oladipo, Goran Dragic, and Andre Iguodala (for Miami).
Prior to the 2021 trade deadline, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star reported that the Hornets, Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, and Pelicans were among the teams to express interest in Pacers big man Myles Turner. With Turner possibly available again this summer in trade talks, many of those teams could renew their interest in the NBA’s shot-blocking leader.
Exploring that possibility, Michael tweets that the Hornets and Timberwolves are the teams that seem to “really” want Turner. Michael speculates (via Twitter) that Charlotte would be the team most likely to make an aggressive trade offer for the 25-year-old if the Pacers are willing to move him.
Here’s more out of Indiana:
- If the Bucks decide to move on from Mike Budenholzer after their season ends, he’d move to the top of the Pacers’ list of potential head coaching candidates, league sources tell J. Michael. Michael adds that G League Ignite coach Brian Shaw, formerly a Pacers assistant, is also expected to be a serious candidate for the job.
- In a subscriber-only piece for The Indianapolis Star, Michael takes a look at the factors that led to Nate Bjorkgren‘s ouster after just one season. One league executive described Bjorkgren’s coaching style as “fake positivity,” according to Michael, who also provides details on Bjorkgren’s tendency to micro-manage and his failure to hold players accountable. Michael adds that the first-year coach “made sure those beneath him knew their place,” which lines up with a May report that stated Bjorkgren didn’t treat his assistants particularly well.
- Although the Pacers haven’t ruled out blowing up their roster, team owner Herb Simon may be averse to that idea, according to Michael, who suggests the club seems likely to bring back Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon, and T.J. Warren.
- League spokesperson Tim Frank confirmed that the first-place MVP vote awarded to Knicks point guard Derrick Rose was the result of a cumulative fan vote rather than from a media member, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). While that makes some sense, it’s still a bit odd, given that past fan votes for the MVP award haven’t been nearly so outside the box, writes Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.
Tom Thibodeau has been named Coach of the Year, according to a league press release.
Thibodeau guided the Knicks to their first postseason appearance since the 2012/13 season. The Knicks finished the regular season with a 41-31 record, ending a string of seven consecutive losing seasons. They were 21-45 last season and 17-65 in 2018/19.
It’s the second Coach of the Year award for Thibodeau, who also earned the honor in the 2010/11 season with the Bulls in his first season as a head coach. No one had previously won the award in his first season with two different franchises.
Suns coach Monty Williams actually received more first-place votes (45) than Thibodeau (43). However, Thibodeau earned 351 total points while Williams had 340 points. The 11-point difference between the first- and second-place finishers was the smallest margin since the voting format was introduced in the 2002/03 season.
The Jazz‘s Quin Snyder finished third with 161 points (10 first-place votes). Four other coaches received votes — Doc Rivers (Sixers), Nate McMillan (Hawks), Steve Nash (Nets), and Michael Malone (Nuggets).
Thibodeau is the first Knicks coach since Pat Riley (1992/93) to win the award.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.