Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, the NBA’s MVP, and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, the league’s scoring leader, highlighted the announcement of the 2020-21 All-NBA teams on Tuesday night.
Jokic and Curry were two of the five players named to the first team, where they were joined by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard. All three teams were unveiled on TNT”s “Inside The NBA” ahead of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Brooklyn Nets and the Bucks.
The second team featured Portland’s Damian Lillard and Phoenix’s Chris Paul at the guard spots, New York’s Julius Randle and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James at forward, and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid at center, while the third team was comprised of Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Washington’s Bradley Beal at guard, Miami’s Jimmy Butler and the Clippers’ Paul George at forward, and Utah’s Rudy Gobert at center.
It was the third straight All-NBA selection for Jokic, including a second straight first-team nod, while Curry earned his fourth first-team selection, and seventh overall, after missing virtually all of last season with a broken bone in his hand.
For both Antetokounmpo and Leonard, Tuesday’s selection was their third first-team selection, and fifth overall, while Doncic has now been named to the first team each of the past two seasons.
James, meanwhile, increased his record for total All-NBA selections to 17, while picking up the third second-team selection of his career (he was named to the third team in 2019, his first season with the Lakers, a year that also saw him miss significant time due to injury). Randle picked up his first All-NBA selection as part of a tremendous season for him with the Knicks, as New York made the playoffs for the first time in eight years, while Randle was named an All-Star for the first time and, earlier this month, was honored as the NBA’s Most Improved Player this season.
Paul became one of 26 players to be named to an All-NBA team 10 times in their career in what is the latest honor for him in a brilliant first season in Phoenix that has seen the Suns reach the Western Conference finals in their first time in the playoffs in over a decade. Embiid picked up his third All-NBA selection — all second team — while Butler earned his fourth selection, but first above the third team.
Beal made the third team for his first-ever All-NBA selection, while Irving picked up his third selection. Gobert, who picked up his third Defensive Player of the Year award last week, earned his fourth All-NBA selection, as did Butler, while George has now been selected to six All-NBA teams in his career.
Tuesday’s announcement also had ramifications from a financial standpoint for several players.
For Embiid and Luka Doncic, making this year’s All-NBA team means both of them will be eligible to sign supermax contract extensions with their respective teams this offseason. For Embiid, that would mean signing a four-year extension worth $190.6 million, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, which would begin starting with the 2023-24 season. Doncic, meanwhile, would be eligible to sign a five-year extension worth $201.5 million, per Marks.
Jokic, meanwhile, became eligible to sign a supermax extension after the 2021-22 season when he was named the NBA’s MVP last week.
Several other players missed out on increases in pay based off failing to be named to an All-NBA team. For both Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, missing out on All-NBA means the five-year extensions they signed prior to last season will be worth $163 million, as opposed to the $195.6 million they would’ve been had they made one of the All-NBA teams.
Tatum actually had more total points for an All-NBA spot than Irving (69 to 61). But because the voting is done by positions (two guard spots, two forward spots and a center spot on each team), Tatum finished 20 points behind George for the sixth and final forward spot in the voting.
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, meanwhile, would’ve been eligible to sign a supermax extension this offseason had he made All-NBA. With one year remaining on his contract, he would still be eligible to do so again next offseason when he becomes an unrestricted free agent if he makes an All-NBA team next season.