Russell Westbrook

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.

Rockets Notes: Morey, Fertitta, D’Antoni, Coaching Job

General manager Daryl Morey’s job is safe and Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta declared that Morey and the basketball operations department will conduct the search for a new head coach, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Fertitta, who made his comments on CNBC, said he will merely sign off on the recommendation made by Morey and his staff.

“It begins and ends with the general manager,” Fertitta said. “You can talk to me all day long. I personally wouldn’t know what coach to hire. That’s why you have a basketball operations team that’s made of a half a dozen people that use all kinds of analytics and experience.”

Mike D’Antoni‘s decision to leave Houston was made public on Sunday.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Fertitta’s lack of communication with D’Antoni after the Rockets were eliminated by the Lakers led to the coach’s decision to depart, Kelly Iko and Sam Amick of The Athletic report. D’Antoni spoke with Morey and everyone on the team prior to the flight back to Houston on Sunday. D’Antoni expected a phone call from ownership regarding the season and its future plans for him but that didn’t come. Prior to boarding the plane, D’Antoni decided he would leave the franchise and test the open market.
  • Expectations will remain high for the Rockets and that’s one factor for potential head coaching candidates to consider, Feigen opines. The Rockets’ core players are on the wrong side of 30 and their window is closing. If the franchises decides to rebuild after Russell Westbrook and James Harden finish out their contracts, the Rockets don’t possess many assets, Feigen adds.
  • Jeff Green isn’t thinking about retiring, though as a free agent it’s uncertain whether he’ll be back in Houston. Get the details here.

Rockets Notes: Game 7, Harden, Westbrook, Chandler

More than the fate of this season will be on the line for the Rockets tonight as they face the Thunder in Game 7 of their first-round series, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Houston is in danger of wasting another year of James Harden‘s prime, and both he and Russell Westbrook will have the chance to opt out of their current contracts and become free agents in the summer of 2022.

Although the Rockets have gone through two recent shakeups by trading for Westbrook last July and fully embracing small-ball by dealing starting center Clint Capela in February, O’Connor believes more changes could be on the way, especially if the team gets bounced in the first round. Mike D’Antoni seems unlikely to return as head coach, and general manager Daryl Morey might have to consider changes to his philosophy of surrounding Harden and Westbrook with standstill shooters.

There are also concerns that Westbrook, an inconsistent 3-point shooter, doesn’t fit as well with Harden as Chris Paul once did. Playing just his second game since returning from a quad injury, Westbrook was particularly bad in the Game 6 loss, turning the ball over seven times.

“We’ve gotta take care of it. Starting with myself,” said Westbrook, who is expected to remain on a minutes limit tonight. “I’m just trying to figure out rhythm and timing, but I’ll figure it out next game.”

There’s more Rockets news to pass along:

  • The team will make a greater effort to get the ball to Harden in the closing minutes if tonight’s game is close, D’Antoni tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Although stats show Harden’s usage hasn’t changed much in the final minutes of the three close games in the series, he didn’t touch the ball in the final seconds Monday with the Rockets trailing by two points. “Obviously, we’re trying to get him involved,” D’Antoni said. “We just kept turning it over before he had a chance to get involved. There was a number of turnovers that probably shouldn’t happen. We’ll talk about it. He knows. He’ll be ready to go.”
  • While Westbrook was disappointing in Game 6, the Rockets made the right move by acquiring him in exchange for Paul and a parcel of draft picks, argues Mark Medina of USA Today. Medina points out that Paul’s injury history made him risky for Houston, even though he has stayed healthy this season. There was also noticeable tension between Paul and Harden that built up over two seasons, while Westbrook and Harden are long-time friends.
  • Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press talks to several little-used players, including Rockets veteran center Tyson Chandler, about the experience of being stuck in a closed environment without seeing much playing time.

Western Notes: Westbrook, Beverley, Lakers, Kings

Rockets star Russell Westbrook returned on Saturday from a quad injury, marking his first in-game action of the postseason. Despite looking rusty on a minutes restriction, Westbrook provided a much-needed energy boost in his return, helping elevate the team to a 114-80 rout over the Thunder.

“He just gives us some energy, he speeds up the game,” coach Mike D’Antoni said, as relayed by James Jackson of The Oklahoman. “He’s going to get better the more times he goes out and plays. I knew he was going to be a little rusty but he gave us a nice little spark to start the game and I thought he played great. It was good.”

Westbrook hadn’t been active in quite some time and it showed. He finished with seven points, shooting 3-of-13 in 23 minutes of action. But he also recorded six rebounds, seven assists and a +21 net rating, firing up his teammates on the court and assisting them off of it from the sidelines.

“He brought that energy, he brought that excitement that we were missing,” James Harden said. “We just need him. Obviously he’s our leader. We all know what he does for the game of basketball and for our team so it was exciting to have him out there.”

The Rockets will play the Thunder in Game 6 of their series on Monday and will advance to face the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals with a win.

Here are some other notes from the West today:

Injury Updates: Butler, Westbrook, Lowry, Beverley

The Heat have a week-long break after sweeping the Pacers in the first round, and the time off has given two players a chance to overcome injuries, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Jimmy Butler, who played Game 4 against Indiana with a strained left shoulder, and Jae Crowder, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle, were both able to practice today.

“We had a couple of really good days of work and nobody was in a mood to work on Wednesday night or Thursday,” said coach Erik Spoelstra, who now has a fully healthy roster. “And that was the reason for this pause. We’ve been able to get a couple good days of work (Friday and Saturday). We’ll watch the (Bucks-Magic) game this afternoon and see what happens. Either way, our guys will be ready.”

There’s more injury news around the league:

  • Russell Westbrook will make his playoff debut for the Rockets today, but his minutes will be restricted, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Coach Mike D’Antoni said Westbrook, who has been sidelined since Aug. 11 with a strained right quadriceps, will be limited to 25-28 minutes in Game 5.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has been upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday’s opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Lowry sprained his left ankle in the final game of the Nets series when he stepped on Chris Chiozza‘s foot. He was able to practice today, and Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he “looked OK.”
  • Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has been moved from doubtful to questionable for Sunday’s Game 6 against Dallas, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Beverley hasn’t played since the series opener because of a strained left calf.
  • Nuggets guard Gary Harris is listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 6 against Utah, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Harris is dealing with a strained right hip and hasn’t been able to play since the season restarted.

Russell Westbrook To Play In Game 5

Russell Westbrook will make his postseason debut for the Rockets on Saturday, as he is set to play in the team’s Game 5 matchup against the Thunder, the team announced.

Westbrook missed Houston’s first four playoff battles against Oklahoma City due to a strained right quadriceps. The former league MVP reportedly looked “as explosive as ever” during a 5-on-5 scrimmage on Thursday as he prepared to rejoin his teammates on the court.

With the series tied 2-2, the addition of Westbrook gives the Rockets a major boost as Houston has dropped the last two games after opening the round with two straight wins over Oklahoma City. However, head coach Mike D’Antoni noted that Westbrook would likely be under some sort of minutes restriction upon his return.

In his first season with the Rockets, Westbrook posted his usual great numbers, averaging 27.2 PPG, 7.9 RPG and 7.0 APG in 57 contests. Westbrook’s 47.2% field goal percentage was the highest of his career and his scoring average was his best since his MVP season in 2017.

Russell Westbrook Expected To Return For Game 5

2:20pm: Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said on Friday that Westbrook will go through today’s practice and that the team expects him to be “ready to go” for Game 5, barring any setbacks. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link), D’Antoni anticipates some sort of minutes restriction for Westbrook, but no specifics have been discussed yet.


9:44am: Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook is expected to play in Game 5 against Oklahoma City after missing the first four games of the series due to a strained right quadriceps, a source tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link).

Westbrook, who was initially ruled out for Game 5, was upgraded to questionable on Wednesday and intended to test his quad on the court before the game to see if he’d be able to go. When players decided not to play Wednesday’s games in protest of social and racial injustices, he didn’t get the opportunity to test the injury.

However, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Adrian Wojnarowski report that Westbrook participated in a 5-on-5 intrasquad scrimmage held by the Rockets on Thursday. While the report doesn’t confirm that Westbrook intends to play in Game 5, a source told ESPN that the former MVP “looked as explosive as ever.”

The NBA hasn’t officially announced a new date and time for Game 5 of the Rockets/Thunder series, but there’s an expectation that it will be rescheduled for Saturday. The series is currently tied at two games apiece.

Injury Updates: Westbrook, Gordon, Lowry, Mavs

After initially being ruled out for Game 5 due to his quad injury, Rockets guard Russell Westbrook was upgraded to questionable today, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

With the Rockets and Thunder set to tip off at 5:30 pm central time tonight, Westbrook is expected to test his strained quad on the court before the game, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that the All-Star point guard will be a game-time decision.

While it remains to be seen whether Westbrook will get the go-ahead to play tonight, it sounds as if he’s getting awfully close, which means the odds we’ll see him in action before the end of the series are increasing.

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

  • Magic forward Aaron Gordon (hamstring) has been ruled out for Game 5 against Milwaukee, the team announced today (via Twitter). We heard on Tuesday that Gordon was still having trouble running up and down the court and that the club didn’t want to risk him suffering a more serious injury. If Orlando loses today, Gordon’s season will be over without him getting a chance to play in the postseason.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (ankle sprain) didn’t practice again today, as Marc Stein of The New York Times tweets. However, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca doesn’t necessarily view that as a bad sign, tweeting that there would be no sense running Lowry through a full practice even if he’s feeling good and plans to play on Thursday. Lowry’s status for Game 1 against Boston remains up in the air.
  • Four key Mavericks players – Kristaps Porzingis (knee), Luka Doncic (ankle), Dorian Finney-Smith (hips), and Trey Burke (ankle) – are listed as questionable to play in Game 6 on Thursday, with Dallas’ season on the line, according to Brad Townsend and Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links).

Injury Notes: AD, Rondo, Lillard, Westbrook, Lowry, More

Although he left Game 4 on Monday due to back spasms, Lakers star Anthony Davis is expected to be good to go on Wednesday and is being listed as probable on the injury report. However, point guard Rajon Rondo is still “banged up” and likely won’t play, per head coach Frank Vogel (Twitter links via Dave McMenamin of ESPN). Rondo is being listed as doubtful for Game 5.

Meanwhile, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who has already been ruled out for Game 5 due to a right knee sprain, is unlikely to return this series even if Portland can extend it by a game or two, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. According to Haynes, Lillard is currently unable to extend his right leg.

Here are more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said today that he still thinks Russell Westbrook could return in the first round, but it won’t happen on Wednesday, as the team has listed Westbrook as out for Game 5 vs. Oklahoma City (Twitter links via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle).
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry didn’t participate in practice on Tuesday and is considered day-to-day for the time being, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, who tweets that Lowry’s status for Game 1 vs. Boston on Thursday remains uncertain.
  • Nuggets guard Gary Harris (hip), who was previously listed as questionable for Game 5 against Utah tonight, has been downgraded to out, the team announced (via Twitter). With Denver trailing 3-1 in the series, it’s possible Harris won’t return this season.
  • Heat wing Jimmy Butler has been battling a left shoulder strain but doesn’t expect the issue to limit him going forward, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Head coach Erik Spoelstra, who referred to it as a “soft-tissue” injury, said no MRI is scheduled for now.
  • Magic forward Aaron Gordon (hamstring) appears unlikely to be ready for Game 5 on Wednesday, according to head coach Steve Clifford, who says that Gordon is still unable to sprint up and down the court and the team doesn’t want to risk him suffering a more serious injury (Twitter links via Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel).

Injury Notes: Lowry, Westbrook, Magic, Porzingis, Rondo

A foot injury suffered by Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was the only blemish on Toronto’s blowout win of Brooklyn on Sunday, as the team completed its sweep and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

According to Andrew Lopez of ESPN, Lowry was scheduled to undergo an MRI on the arch of his left foot after turning his ankle early in the Raptors’ win on Sunday. Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca tweets that Lowry had that MRI last night and the team is expected to provide an update on his status at some point on Monday.

The Raptors’ second-round series against Boston is scheduled to get underway this Thursday, so if Lowry’s injury is considered a day-to-day issue, he’ll have some time to get ready for Game 1. The Raptors had no issue beating the Nets without Lowry on Sunday, but will need him back in the lineup to increase their chances of getting past Boston and returning to the Eastern Finals.

[UPDATE: Kyle Lowry Has Ankle Sprain, No Timeline Provided For Return]

Here are more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, who is on the shelf with a quad strain, stepped up his workouts on Sunday, but has been ruled out for Game 4 on Monday, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Westbrook did on-court work, including quick stops and starts, yesterday, per Feigen.
  • Aaron Gordon (hamstring) and Michael Carter-Williams (foot) will remain sidelined for the Magic in Game 4 against Milwaukee this afternoon, the team announced (via Twitter). Neither player has been active for a playoff game so far.
  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis was set to undergo an MRI on his right knee on Sunday, per head coach Rick Carlisle. As Tim MaMahon of ESPN tweets, Porzingis’ status for Game 5 on Tuesday remains up in the air.
  • Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo is ready to return from his thumb injury, but has been nagged by back spasms in recent days. After being scratched for Game 3, Rondo is listed as doubtful for Game 4 on Monday, per the NBA’s official injury report.