The favorites for the regular season awards have started trickling out, and it appears Anthony Davis will not make the 2016 All-NBA team. If this indeed comes to fruition, Davis will fail to invoke the Rose Rule and hence forfeit in the neighborhood of roughly $24 million dollars, settling for $121 million over the next five years instead of $145 million.
Less than a month ago Kevin Pelton believed Davis had built a solid case for inclusion because the majority of his minutes came at the center, the weakest position in the NBA. However, he has since changed his opinion and instead opted to include Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan and Al Horford.
Pelton is not alone in making this determination. Fellow ESPN analyst, Tom Haberstroh, is in agreement and has selected the same trio of players for the three available All-NBA center positions.
My 2015-16 award picks. pic.twitter.com/0wPqyjN74F— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) April 12, 2016
SBNation's Paul Flannery and Tom Ziller have also left Davis off their lists, selecting a couple of combinations including Jordan, Horford and DeMarcus Cousins with Green gaining selection as a forward.
David Aldridge appeared to come closest to adding Davis, as he preferred the production of oft-injured Pelicans star over Cousins; however, Tim Duncan was chosen ahead of both them to earn 3rd team honors.
Davis was battered most of the season for the disappointing Pelicans, but if there's one guy from a losing squad who deserves recognition for his game, it's him, ahead of DeMarcus Cousins.
Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post gave Davis an honorable mention, selecting Jordan, Andre Drummond and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Anthony Davis would undoubtedly be disappointed by all of these results, but it's not a bad case scenario for the New Orleans Pelicans. The team will have additional cap space over the span of his five-year contract, starting with around $4.3 million for 2016-17. If the Pelicans renounce Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, they will potentially have enough funds to offer a max contract for a player with 0-6 years of service.
What if AD doesn't make an All-NBA team, the Pelicans allow their free agents to walk, but they do not trade away Evans or Ajinca? This porridge might be just right.
Pos Age 2016-2017 Anthony Davis PF/C 23 $21,600,000 Max Cap Slot (0-6) $21,600,000 Jrue Holiday PG 26 $11,286,518 Tyreke Evans SG 27 $10,203,755 Omer Asik C 30 $9,904,494 Alexis Ajinca C 28 $4,713,203 Quincy Pondexter SG/SF 28 $3,617,978 Dante Cunningham SF/PF 29 $2,978,250 Luke Babbitt SF/PF 27 $1,227,286 Bryce Dejean-Jones SG 24 $874,636 2016 1st Round Pick (#6) $2,931,000 Cap Space $1,062,880 Total 26.89 $92,000,000
Harrison Barnes, Kent Bazemore, Chandler Parsons, and Evan Fournier are just a couple of free agents with a 0-6 years max salary this summer.
Since this was written, David's above scenario will likely have to be tweaked a bit. With how Tim Frazier has performed, one should assume the front office will offer him the qualifying offer worth $1,180,431. In addition, unless some trade materializes, Luke Babbitt could be on the outside looking in if New Orleans needs access to the full $21,600,000 of financial freedom -- remember only $200K of his above salary is guaranteed.