The All-NBA selections announced next month will have long-term ramifications from Philadelphia to Golden State to New Orleans, where the largest contract in NBA history could be awarded next summer.
While Kawhi Leonard became supermax eligible in May 2017, when he was voted All-NBA for a second-consecutive season, players such as Joel Embiid, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will play the waiting game. The award will not only have a financial consequence for each player but also cap ramifications for each team.
We look at what's at stake with awards voting and track the players who earned bonuses this past season.
The $30 million question
Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers
Is Anthony Davis a forward or a center? Unlike last season, when Davis earned All-NBA First Team center and played 64 percent of his minutes at the 5, Davis has played center just 45 percent of the time this season, including 47 starts (out of 73 games) at power forward, per Cleaning The Glass. The challenge that the voting media faces is that if Davis is voted a First-Team All-NBA forward, who out of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo is moved to the second team? It's an unfair decision -- finagling one player's position to get another on the ballot -- but one the media likely would have needed to make if DeMarcus Cousins hadn't suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
In the unlikely scenario that Davis is voted in as a forward, Joel Embiid could be in line to receive an extra $30 million in his contract.
Embiid has a clause in his rookie extension signed last October that would see his first-year salary increase from 25 percent of the cap to 30 percent by earning All-NBA First Team status. The total compensation would increase from $147 million to $177 million and see the 76ers lose a projected $5 million in cap space over each of the next five seasons.
Unlike the veteran supermax criteria (All-NBA First, Second or Third Team, Defensive Player of the Year or MVP), teams have the right to negotiate the criteria in a rookie extension.
While you could look back and ask why more qualifiers weren't negotiated into the extension by Embiid and his camp, remember that he had played only 31 games in three seasons before signing this contract.
Supermax eligible in 2019
Anthony Davis | New Orleans Pelicans
Davis will qualify to receive a supermax extension once he earns All-NBA (either as a forward or a center) but will need to wait until the summer of 2019 to sign a new contract. Players need to have seven or eight years of service at the time of the extension. Davis will have six this July.
Davis qualifies even if he doesn't receive All-NBA honors next season because he'll satisfy the two-out-of-three-seasons requirement.
Davis' extension will be worth $228 million over five years, making it the largest contract in NBA history, with a first-year salary cap hit in 2020-21 of $39.4 million.
The Golden State All-Stars
Klay Thompson | Golden State Warriors
Don't let the dip in points per game fool you when it comes to the season Thompson is having. A career year in shooting efficiency across the board combined with his usually reliable defense has Thompson worthy of All-NBA honors.
Still, Thompson is likely going to be the odd man out based on a deep pool of guards.
Even if Thompson does earn All-NBA, there is no assurance that Golden State would even sign him to a supermax extension with a starting salary of $37.8 million, nearly double his current salary. The Warriors will be a repeater tax team in 2019, the first year of a potential extension, and they would be paying a substantial tax when factoring in the max contracts of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Plus, Draymond Green will be a free agent in 2020, and he will being looking for a modest raise from his $18.5 million contract in 2019-20.
Once Thompson likely misses out on All-NBA, the guard will need to earn the honor in 2018-19 to be supermax eligible in 2019, when he becomes a free agent. If he does, the new contract could be worth $219 million over five seasons.
Draymond Green | Golden State Warriors
Green could benefit if Anthony Davis and LaMarcus Aldridge are voted into the All-NBA center slots. If they do, Green could find himself supermax eligible in the summer of 2019 by earning All-NBA this season. Green also could meet the criteria by being named Defensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season, though that appears unlikely.
Like Thompson, there is no assurance that the Warriors would entertain a lucrative extension for Green, especially with Golden State having only one slot available. Because teams are permitted to sign only two supermax contracts during the life of the current collective bargaining agreement (until 2024), Golden State could face a decision to choose Thompson, Green or neither. That, of course, is if either player meets the criteria this season or next year.
Defensive Player of the Year candidates: Rudy Gobert, Joel Embiid
Wait until next year
Damian Lillard | Portland Trail Blazers
Unlike Anthony Davis, Lillard will not be supermax eligible in the summer of 2019, when he likely earns All-NBA in May.
Since he did not earn All-NBA in 2016-17, Lillard would have to duplicate his success from this season in 2018-19 to be eligible for a four-year, $185 million extension. The new contract would be less than Davis' because Lillard does not have a player option for the 2020-21 season.
If Lillard earned all-NBA in 2017-18 and 2018-19 but bypassed an extension next summer, the guard would still be eligible to sign a five-year, $240 million extension in 2020.
Kemba Walker | Charlotte Hornets
Walker is unlikely to receive an All-NBA nod this season, but if he had, the Hornets would be left deciding between extending their franchise point guard to a five-year, $219 million contract or entertaining trade offers for a player on the last year of his contract.
Walker is eligible to sign a supermax as a free agent with Charlotte in 2019 if he earns All-NBA honors in 2018-19 ... if he's still in a Hornets uniform.
Supermax eligible this summer
Kawhi Leonard | San Antonio Spurs
Leonard is supermax eligible in July despite a limited appearance this season because he earned All-NBA in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The question now comes down to if the Spurs will reward Leonard with a five-year, $219 million extension and if the small forward will sign it. If neither do, expect the trade rumors to pick up.
The cost of winning the East
A deep playoff run in Toronto could be a financial windfall for point guard Kyle Lowry.
Having already earned $200,000 for being selected to the All-Star Game, Lowry can earn an additional $1.5 million if the Raptors win the NBA championship. The bonus is broken up into three parts: $500,000 for appearing in the Eastern Conference finals, $500,000 for advancing to the NBA Finals and $500,000 for winning the title.
Because of the possibility of Lowry reaching these incentives, Toronto created a safety net when it traded Bruno Caboclo at the deadline and took back less salary. The Raptors would have been a luxury tax team if they reached the Finals and the trade had not occurred.
Victor Oladipo | Indiana Pacers
The thought of the Pacers winning the East was dismissed once Paul George was traded last offseason. Indiana was thought of as more a rebuilder than a team that could compete for a playoff spot, let alone a top-five seed.
Now, after a season that surpassed the expectations of many, Indiana enters a wide-open Eastern Conference looking to do something they couldn't do with George -- get to an NBA Finals. If they do, Oladipo will earn a $250,000 bonus.
Waiting on postseason honors
Though the Clippers' Lou Williams is the likely front-runner for Sixth Man of the Year, Barton will likely finish in the top five in voting. Had Barton finished in the top spot, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent would have earned $250,000.
Barton has split his time evenly between starting and coming off the bench. The guard is having a career season, averaging 33 MPG, 15 PPG and shooting a career-high 45.2 percent from the field.
Jrue Holiday | New Orleans Pelicans
Where would the Pelicans be without Holiday?
Although Anthony Davis has been the focal point, Holiday is not only having a career year but also has been one of the best guards post All-Star break.
On top of his $24.6 million salary, Holiday will earn an additional $255,000 (total of $765,000) for reaching three bonus criteria: games played, minutes played and averaging more than 3.15 rebounds.
If Holiday earns first- or second-team All-Defense, an additional $100,000 will be added to the bonuses already achieved.
One bonus deemed likely before the season was Holiday averaging more than 7.15 assists per game. However, with Rajon Rondo seeing time as the primary ball handler, Holiday will average 5.87 assists, the lowest of his career since 2011-12.
Rudy Gobert | Utah Jazz
The 26 games missed earlier in the season with an injury was thought to not only diminish the Jazz's chances of making the playoffs but also cost Rudy Gobert $2 million in potential bonuses.
Now the Jazz have clinched a playoff spot, and Gobert will likely earn $500,000 when he is named first-team All-Defense.
Even with Gobert earning All-Defense honors, Utah will see some cap savings in 2018-19, when the center's cap hit is reduced from $22.7 million to $22.5 million. The decrease is a result of him falling short of playing 67 games this season (combined with total rebounds). The $250,000 was deemed likely entering the season.
Give credit to Dedmon's agent, Mike Silverman, for betting on the journeyman center's increased role in Atlanta this season. As a result of the creative contract that factored in games played with points and rebounds, Dedmon will receive a $900,000 bonus. The bonus earned is similar to his full salary in 2015-16. If Dedmon elects to opt into his contract for 2018-19, the cap hit will increase from $6.3 million to $7.2 million.
Maurice Harkless | Portland Trail Blazers
There will be no suspense entering the last game of the season when it comes to the $500,000 bonus for Maurice Harkless.
Unlike last season, when Harkless hovered around the 35 percent mark for 3-point shooting at game 82, the small forward has already reached the criteria with a career-high 41.5 percent from 3.
Henson did something that was deemed unlikely when the center signed his rookie extension in 2015 -- stay healthy and appear in 75 or more games.
Reaching the 75-game milestone on Monday against Orlando not only set a career high but also earned Henson $500,000. Henson also received $200,000 when he appeared in 60 games in a loss against Houston in early March.
As a result of both achievements, Henson's cap hit for 2018-19 is now $11.3 million.
Olynyk had to wait an extra day to earn his $1 million bonus for playing 1,700 minutes.
Reaching the playoffs on April 3 earned Olynyk $400,000 in bonus money but also saw him fall two minutes short of the minutes criteria. The next night at Atlanta, he crossed the threshold.
The $1.4 million in bonuses will now be added to his $11.1 million base pay for 2018-19.
Ricky Rubio | Utah Jazz
A change in scenery from Minnesota to Utah still has Rubio reaching the two sets of bonus criteria in his contract.
A career 38.4 percent shooter from the field, Rubio has hit a career-high 41.7 percent this season and will earn $100,000. In addition, Rubio will earn $75,000 based on his free throw percentage (86.2 percent) exceeding 82 percent.
The $14.97 million cap charge in 2018-19 will remain the same based on both bonuses being deemed likely before the season started.