During TNT's broadcast last night, the Western Conference starters for the 2016 NBA All-Star game were revealed: Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. After starting the game last season, Anthony Davis' All-Star fate now lies in the hands of NBA head coaches, excluding Alvin Gentry (a coach is not allowed to vote for his own player). They have until Tuesday to pick two guards, three front court players and two wild cards.
In comparison to last season, Davis is having a down season, averaging less points, assists, steals and blocks. Both his field goal and free throw percentages have dropped as well, and numerous advanced statistics echo the same general sentiment.
However, Davis' averages of 23.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.5 blocks look better on paper than nearly any other player in the NBA. His 24.9 PER is sixth-best among players who have appeared in 500 minutes or greater. By any metric, Davis is still one of the best players in the NBA despite the fact he finished 9th in votes among frontcourt players in the Western Conference.
So, what does Davis think about not possibly being included in the upcoming All-Star game?
I don't care about that. I only care about what's in the locker room. (All-Star) is just a bonus. Guys don't come into this league, "I want to be a 10-time All-Star." They worry about rings and helping their teams win. That doesn't bother me at all.
It remains to be seen whether Davis will be voted in by the coaches, but over the last 24 hours, numerous media outlets have consistently made mention of how Davis could potentially miss out on an additional $23 million dollars. In order for his extension to qualify for a 30% max level raise structure, he needs to be voted as the Most Valuable Player, as a starter to two All-Star Games or named to All-NBA First, Second or Third team.
Barring injury or another significant downturn in performance, Davis' odds of qualifying for the Rose Rule appear good even though he has already missed out on the All-Star qualifier. Fifteen players get recognized for the season-ending All-NBA honors, and AD's current production should be enough to get him recognition.
Needless to say, though, Davis is probably well aware of the monetary ramifications, and it's likely the sum of money sits higher on his priority list than a 2016 All-Star appearance. Don't be surprised if he ends the 2015-16 campaign with a bang, and perhaps, his stellar play assists the Pelicans into the postseason in consecutive seasons.