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Anthony Davis selected to 2017 All-NBA Team, takes step closer to potential contract extension with Pelicans

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A good day for Davis and New Orleans alike!

NBA: Sacramento Kings at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis has been selected to the 2017 All-NBA First Team as a center. Filling out the rest of this roster are LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Davis was the only member of the first group who came really close to winding up on the Second Team, edging out Rudy Gobert by just four points (343-339)! Davis finished with 45 first place votes, Gobert, 43, and five other centers had at least one first place vote, with DeAndre Jordan capturing three and coming away with All-NBA Third team center honors.

Today’s honor marks the second time Davis has been selected to an All-NBA team (2015), so both awards sitting in the display case at home are of the prestigious first team variety.

While it’s important to recognize the accolade is representative of the Pelicans having one of the top talents in the game, it’s much more vital to realize Davis now moves a step closer to signing a contract extension — a renegotiation of his current deal — in New Orleans. Although these are rare occurrences, both Harden and Westbrook recently renegotiated deals in order to significantly bump up their salaries at the cost of bypassing free agency earlier.

If you may remember, Davis needed to either be named during the 2016 campaign a starter to the All-Star game or awarded any All-NBA honor to be eligible for the Rose Rule. It failed to materialize and he wound up losing an estimated $24 million dollars on his current contract.

This time around, Davis is working towards qualification for the Designated Player Veterans Extension (DPVE) which can translate into a richer third contract or would enable his current contract to burgeon into a much richer extension in just several years time.

Eligibility: only players entering their 8th or 9th seasons with their original franchise or if they were traded to existing team during first four years of career are eligible.

Qualifications: players have to satisfy one of the following:

1. Made one of the three all-NBA teams in season preceding the extension or in 2 of the previous 3 seasons.

2. Earned league defensive player of the year (DPOY) honors in the season preceding the extension or in 2 of the previous 3 seasons.

3. Earned league most valuable player (MVP) honors in any of the 3 seasons preceding the extension.

With Davis still under team control for another three years, he cannot boast about this 2017 All-NBA award in 2020 when discussing his third contract as a free agent (assuming he’ll forgo his fourth year player option). However, it could be a factor if he and the Pelicans decide to come to terms on a renegotiated contract in two summer’s time (provided the team has the available cap space).

Players who have completed three seasons of a four- or five-year deal are eligible for renegotiation. So in the summer of 2019, Davis will be eligible and the DPVE will be on the table if he makes another All-NBA team in the next two seasons, wins two of the next three DPOY or takes home one of the next three MVP trophies.

Why would Davis sign a contract extension whereby tying himself to New Orleans for possibly another four seasons? It’s all about the Benjamins!

In 2020-21, AD is currently scheduled to earn over $28 million. If he qualifies for the DPVE a year or two from now, it would trigger a potential maximum of 35% of the salary cap. He could be looking at a five-year extension that would net him over $42 million (based on a $120 million salary cap) for 2020-21 instead!

Plus, once he’s finished with his third year of the extension, he’ll have then accumulated 10 years of service in the league and be able to sign a Super Max extension — in other words keep rolling with 35% of the salary cap for another five seasons. Thus, by agreeing to a DPV extension with the Pelicans, Davis would pocket more money in both the short and long term.

There is no doubt Stephen Curry is going to take advantage of the DPE and re-sign with the Golden State Warriors this summer. However, it’ll be interesting to watch what Westbrook and Harden do as both have the ability to restructure their contracts for successive seasons and take advantage of that 35% figure under the new CBA. There is speculation that Westbrook will lock himself in, but Harden may wait another year.

With today’s All-NBA first team trophy, realize that Anthony Davis just took a giant step forward in possibly following in their footsteps one day. Moving that much closer to the biggest of bucks, his odds of remaining with the Pelicans past the length of his current deal just went up.