Rudy Gobert

NBA Announces 2019/20 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2019/20 season. Voting was completed prior to the league’s restart in July and was based on results through March 11.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lakers forward LeBron James, widely considered the two frontrunners for this year’s MVP award, were the only two players to be unanimously voted to the All-NBA First Team this season. Rockets guard James Harden, Lakers big man Anthony Davis, and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic rounded out the First Team.

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 and LeBron scored a perfect 500 — First Team nods from all 100 voters.

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Among the players who just missed the cut were Bucks forward Khris Middleton (82 points), Sixers center Joel Embiid (79), Wizards guard Bradley Beal (32), and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (26). A total of 11 other players also received at least one All-NBA vote — the full results can be found right here.

Today’s announcement is great news from a financial perspective for Siakam and Simmons. As a result of Siakam’s Second Team nod and Simmons’ Third Team spot, both players will earn starting salaries worth 28% of the 2020/21 salary cap, rather than 25%. Players who sign rookie scale extensions can earn maximum salaries up to 30% of the cap if they negotiate Rose Rule language into their deals.

The exact value of those new contracts will depend on where exactly the ’20/21 cap lands. Assuming it stays the same as in 2019/20 ($109.141MM), Siakam’s four-year extension would be worth $136.9MM instead of the $122.2MM it’d be worth if it started at 25% of the cap. Simmons’ five-year pact would be worth $177.2MM rather than $158.3MM.

While it’s also worth noting that All-NBA berths are of great importance to players seeking super-max contracts, there aren’t any real developments to report on that front as a result of this year’s votes. Antetokounmpo and Gobert remain eligible for super-max extensions, but they’d already qualified based on their previous accolades.

Embiid would have become super-max eligible in 2021 if he had earned an All-NBA spot, but he’ll need to make an All-NBA team next season to gain eligibility now, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

Hoops Rumors readers accurately picked 12 of this season’s 15 All-NBA players in our spring poll. Beal, Embiid, and Devin Booker were your picks who didn’t make the official list. Of the 12 who made it, 11 made the exact team you projected, with Paul (who made Second Team instead of Third Team) representing the only exception.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jazz Notes: Offseason, Gobert, Mitchell, Oturu

As the Jazz mull possible roster upgrades this offseason, they’ll be keeping an eye out for defensive-minded players, executive VP of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey said on Wednesday, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

“Anybody who has defensive integrity at their position, (who) can be an active, athletic defender will be someone that would be of interest to us,” Lindsey said. “Especially if they don’t compromise the spacing.”

While Utah’s roster features a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Rudy Gobert, the team only ranked in the middle of the pack this season in overall defensive rating, and struggled to slow down Jamal Murray and the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • Citing NBA rules, Lindsey declined to get into specifics on Wednesday when asked about possible offseason extensions for Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. However, as Sarah Todd of The Deseret News writes, he insinuated that the Jazz will look to lock up both Gobert and Mitchell long-term, stressing that the franchise is “extremely pleased” with the character of its two All-Stars. “As I’ve mentioned before, we’re working to add players of Rudy and Donovan’s physical talent and competitive makeup and so by definition we’re going to want to keep those type of players moving forward,” Lindsey said.
  • Former University of Minnesota center Daniel Oturu interviewed with the Jazz on Wednesday, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Oturu, the No. 36 prospect on ESPN’s big board, may be an option for Utah at No. 23.
  • While it wasn’t specifically related to the Jazz, Lindsey made another notable comment during his end-of-season presser on Wednesday, contending that the lack of travel this summer improved the quality of NBA games and suggesting that the league should do what it can to reduce travel going forward. “If we ever get to a situation like baseball where you play a team more than one time in the market — obviously, there’s some business concerns there — but that reduced travel, I definitely think the product is more compelling because of that,” Lindsey said. A previous report indicated that the NBA is mulling this idea.

NBA Announces 2019/20 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2019/20 season. Unsurprisingly, Defensive Player of the Year (and possible repeat MVP) Giannis Antetokounmpo was the leading vote-getter with 195 total points. Players receive two points per First Team vote and one point per Second Team vote.

This is the Bucks forward’s second consecutive appearance on the All-NBA First Team. Antetokounmpo was listed on 98 of 100 ballots from the 100 broadcasters and writers who comprised this year’s voting panel. 97 of those voters awarded him a First Team vote.

Lakers forward Anthony Davis was featured on every ballot and received a total tally of 187 points (including 87 First Team votes). Sixers guard Ben Simmons tallied 185 points with the third-most votes this year. Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the 2018 and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, was fourth with 95 total votes (85 First Team), for 180 total points. Celtics guard Marcus Smart rounded out the All-Defensive First Team with 152 points, including 57 First Team votes.

Gobert’s inclusion on the All-Defensive First Team has earned him a $500K bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Antetokounmpo’s Bucks teammates Brook Lopez (67 points) and Eric Bledsoe (59 points) each made the All-Defensive Second Team.

[RELATED: Giannis Antetokounmpo Named Defensive Player Of The Year]

Here are the full voting results for the All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with each player’s point total noted in parentheses:

First Team:

Second Team:

You can find the full voting results right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jazz Notes: Gobert, Clarkson, Game 7, Mitchell

We shared the news earlier today that the Jazz plan to offer a maximum extension to Donovan Mitchell, but the team is also facing an important decision on Rudy Gobert in what could become the most expensive offseason the franchise has ever seen, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN.

Gobert, whose contract expires after next season, is eligible for a five-year, $221MM super-max deal. Marks doesn’t expect Utah to give Gobert that kind of money, but he is in line for a substantial raise as one of the league’s top interior defenders. Marks notes that the Jazz can offer several other options, including a four-year, $133MM extension, a five-year, $189.9MM extension, or a full super-max for the first year with an 8% decrease every subsequent season, resulting in a five-year, $160MM package.

Marks adds that if Utah allows Gobert to hit the open market next summer and the salary cap remains at $109MM, at least 12 teams will have a minimum of $30MM in cap room to pursue him.

There’s more on the Jazz:

  • Another priority will be re-signing Jordan Clarkson, who will be unrestricted when free agency begins, Marks notes in the same piece. After being acquired from the Cavaliers in late December, Clarkson provided some scoring punch to a reserve unit that had been near the bottom of the league in producing points. The Jazz hold Bird rights on Clarkson and will face a weak market where only 10 teams have money to spend apart from their mid-level exceptions.
  • Utah overcame a lot of adversity just to reach Game 7, notes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Gobert’s positive coronavirus test in March led to the league shutdown and created a split with Mitchell. The Jazz also lost an important part of their offense when Bojan Bogdanovic underwent season-ending wrist injury. “Being here has been a challenge in a lot of ways, but I don’t think it’s dampened our enthusiasm for the game,” coach Quinn Snyder said before Tuesday’s game. “So to whatever extent that’s there, certainly you have to fight it, but there’s always things that creep in.”
  • Any lingering rift between Mitchell and Gobert was healed by the experience in Orlando, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic, who states that the team was galvanized by the restart. Mitchell also proved to the organization that he can take on the scoring load in the playoffs. “Donovan, that kid is tough,” Clarkson said. “He’s a scorer, makes plays. One of the best guards in the league, one of the best guards that I’ve played with.”

Northwest Notes: Morgan, Millsap, Nuggets/Jazz Series, Draft

Defensive-oriented Jazz rookie swingman Juwan Morgan, who went undrafted in 2019 out of Indiana University, has already developed into a playoff starter for the West’s No. 6 seed. Tony Jones of The Athletic details Morgan’s journey.

After starting point guard Mike Conley left the NBA’s Orlando restart campus to attend the birth of his child, coach Quin Snyder elected to move All-Star Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell to the point to make room for Morgan as the team’s starting power forward in their quarterfinals matchup with the Nuggets, currently knotted at 1-1.

“My main focus was the same thing any time I step on the floor,” Morgan said of his playoff debut as a starter. “I wanted to hustle hard, play defense, get offensive boards and block out. I wanted to do all the little things and then make life easier for all of the other guys.” Conley has since returned to Disney World and is probable to rejoin his Jazz teammates for tomorrow’s third game in the series.

There’s more out of the Northwest:

  • Veteran Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap needs to be relegated to the bench in favor of the more athletic Jerami Grant, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post opines. Millsap is currently the team’s highest paid player earning $30.5MM this season on an expiring deal, but Kiszla sees the 35-year-old former All-Star as a liability to the team’s success in third-seeded Denver’s playoff quarterfinals series against the Jazz.
  • The outcome of the series between the Nuggets and the Jazz may be determined by which team can out-rebound the other, per Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Because Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic represents a threat to initiate his team’s offense or shoot from outside the paint, he draws his All-Star counterpart Rudy Gobert away from the basket, which leaves his Jazz teammates vulnerable to taller Nuggets players in the battle of the boards. “It’s really a point of emphasis for our team,” Gobert said. “Especially with the way [the Nuggets] crash the boards and the way my guys have been fighting. I need to go back out there and make sure I get those long rebounds.”
  • In case you missed it: The Timberwolves, who entered the NBA draft lottery with a 14% chance of moving up to take the top pick, will now draft first during the 2020 draft, as we detailed earlier tonight. Anthony EdwardsLaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Obi Toppin are among the most-coveted players ahead of this year’s draft. The Wolves last had the No. 1 draft pick in 2015, when the team selected future All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Injury Updates: Porzingis, Jazz, Warren, Clippers, More

The results of the four seeding games today involving the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, Spurs, and Suns will determine which teams participate in the play-in tournament for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot this weekend. And no absence from those games looms larger than Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s — as we relayed on Wednesday, the Bucks star has been suspended for the team’s showdown against Memphis on Thursday, which should improve the Grizzlies’ chance of earning a win and a play-in spot.

Antetokounmpo isn’t the only notable player who will be sitting out one of those four games though. According to the NBA’s official injury report, the Mavericks are listing Kristaps Porzingis (left heel contusion) as doubtful for the team’s afternoon contests against the Suns. Meanwhile, the Jazz will be without Mike Conley (right knee soreness) and Rudy Gobert (lower back soreness) against the Spurs this evening.

None of those ailments are expected to compromise those players’ availability for the postseason, but they could help influence which team ends up qualifying for that final playoff spot in the West.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Pacers forward T.J. Warren sat out Wednesday with what head coach Nate McMillan referred to after the game as plantar fasciitis, the same injury that has sidelined teammate Domantas Sabonis. However, according to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link), McMillan clarified that Warren has been able to play through the issue throughout the season, and a source tells ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link) that it isn’t expected to prevent Warren from being ready for the postseason, so it sounds as if it’s not as severe as Sabonis’ injury.
  • Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday that he’s hopeful Patrick Beverley (calf) and Landry Shamet (foot) will be in position to return for the start of the playoffs (Twitter link via Jovan Buha of The Athletic). Beverley has been out for the club’s last four games, while Shamet sat on Wednesday.
  • Despite a report indicating that the Nuggets are hoping Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee) can play on Friday, head coach Michael Malone hasn’t projected much optimism about either player’s availability, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post.
  • Suns center Aron Baynes, who hasn’t played yet during the restart, will be available on Thursday, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. However, Baynes likely won’t play much – if at all – based on how hot the team has been without him, Gambadoro notes.

NBA Announces Finalists For 2019/20 Awards

The NBA has announced the finalists for several awards as the seeding games on the Orlando campus move forward and the postseason nears. It was announced in July that all awards for the 2019/20 season would be based on games up until March 11, when the coronavirus pandemic shuttered play. Media members made their votes before the seeding games began on July 30.

NBA Most Valuable Player Finalists:

NBA Defensive Player of the Year:

NBA Rookie of the Year:

NBA Most Improved Player:

NBA Sixth Man of the Year:

NBA Coach of the Year:

  • Mike Budenholzer (Bucks)
  • Billy Donovan (Thunder)
  • Nick Nurse (Raptors)

The winners for the awards will be announced during the NBA playoffs after the seeding games period concludes on August 14.

Jazz Stars Sitting Out Friday’s Game With Spurs

The Jazz will play the Spurs on Friday but they will look like a totally different team. They’ll go without all of their star players due to injury or, in one case, rest, according to an ESPN report.

The starting backcourt of Donovan Mitchell (left peroneal strain) and Mike Conley (right knee soreness) will sit out, as will center Rudy Gobert. Coach Quin Snyder is resting his defensive stalwart in the first game of a back-to-back. Utah plays Denver on Saturday.

Another key player, forward Royce O’Neale (right calf soreness), is also taking the night off, as well as guard Nigel Williams-Goss (left ankle sprain).

None of the injuries appear to be long-term, so it’s quite possible most or all of those players could return for the Denver game. The Nuggets have been playing shorthanded during the restart and are missing four starters — Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Paul Millsap — in their game against Portland on Thursday.

Utah is trying to hold onto the fourth seed in the Western Conference and is also within striking distance of the third-place Nuggets.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, SGA, Nurkic, Nuggets, Gobert

As Glen Taylor considers a potential sale of the Timberwolves, one of his top priorities is making sure the team remains in Minnesota. Sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that any purchase agreement will likely include steep financial penalties for moving the franchise, while Chris Hine of The Star Tribune reports that the Wolves already have an agreement with the city to pay a $50MM penalty if they move before 2035.

Meanwhile, Krawczynski writes that Taylor and the Timberwolves have been “inundated” with interest over the last couple weeks. According to The Athletic, there are at least five “legitimate” bidders besides the groups that include former NBA players Kevin Garnett and Arron Afflalo.

While it remains to be seen which group might emerge as the most serious suitor for the Timberwolves, Taylor tells The Star Tribune that one group – a family from out of state – is further along in the process than the others.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman suggests that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s superstar potential should dissuade the Thunder from engaging in a full-fledged teardown in a year or two, since acquiring a player with SGA’s upside would be the goal of such a process.
  • Ramona Shelburne of ESPN takes an in-depth look at Jusuf Nurkic‘s long recovery from the broken leg that sidelined him for 16 months, exploring what the Trail Blazers center gained from losing a year to that injury. “​For me to be on the sideline for 16 months, watching the team play and just being around them as more of a coach than as a player,” Nurkic said, “it gives you a totally different perspective for the game, for life, for my team and family.”
  • The health and conditioning of his players are among Michael Malone‘s most pressing concerns with the Nuggets‘ seeding games about to get underway, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Injuries and late arrivals make it unclear which players will be at full speed when Denver resumes play on Saturday, Singer observes.
  • Rudy Gobert‘s positive coronavirus test on March 11 shut down the NBA. Four-and-a-half months later, it was Gobert scoring the game-winning basket for the Jazz in the first game of the NBA’s restart. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN details, Gobert said on Thursday night that he’s “grateful” to be in a position to get back on the court and resume the season. “Life works in mysterious ways,” he said.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Lillard, Jazz, Wolves

The Nuggets have been one of the most short-handed teams at the NBA’s campus so far, having been limited to just eight players in each of their first two scrimmages this summer. However, reinforcements are on the way for Monday’s game against Orlando.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told reporters this afternoon that Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Michael Porter Jr., and Keita Bates-Diop will all be available to play in tonight’s game, increasing the team’s roster count to 12 (Twitter link via Kendra Andrews of The Athletic).

While he won’t be active tonight, Nuggets guard Monte Morris moved one step closer to getting back on the court as well, having cleared quarantine, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post tweets. He seems likely to be ready by the time Denver plays its first seeding game vs. Miami on Saturday.

Let’s round up a few more Northwest items…

  • Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard missed Sunday’s scrimmage against Toronto due to inflammation in his left foot, but head coach Terry Stotts said the club doesn’t expect it to be “a long-term thing,” writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com.
  • Sarah Todd of The Deseret News takes a deep dive into the Jazz‘s ability to retain both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert long term, exploring the odds of the team doing so and speculating about what their contracts might look like.
  • University of Denver guard Ade Murkey, a Minnesota native, has interviewed with his hometown Timberwolves during the pre-draft process, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Murkey averaged 18.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG with a .481/.400/.731 shooting line as a senior.