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James Harden, LeBron James Headline 2016-17 All-NBA Teams

© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The association’s annual All-NBA teams were announced Thursday with Houston Rockets guard James Harden being named the only unanimous First Team selection, and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James being named to a record-tying 11th First Team selection.

James and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook both received 99 of the possible 100 votes for the First Team. Meanwhile, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard received 96 First Team votes, and New Orleans forward Anthony Davis rounds out the league’s top lineup with 45 First Team votes.

The Second Team features three players making their first All-NBA appearance in Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Utah’s Rudy Gobert. The rest of the Second Team is accompanied by the Golden State duo of Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant.

Gobert was largely considered one of the primary candidates for a First Team selection because of his contributions to Utah’s success this season, but he fell just four points short of the amount needed to surpass Davis’ total. 

The Third Team also had three first-time All-NBA selections in Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Washington’s John Wall, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan. Defensive Player of the Year candidate Draymond Green, and the league leader in field goal percentage, DeAndre Jordan, joined the lineup for their second and third All-NBA honors, respectively.

Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward and Indiana Pacers forward Paul George both missed out on a lot of potential money this summer due to their names being left off the All-NBA teams. If Hayward would have made any of the three teams, Utah would have been able to sign the All-Star to a $200 million deal if he picked up his $16.7 million option for next season. Hayward will be an unrestricted free agent whenever the free agency period beings in July. 

Meanwhile, George missed out on the opportunity for the Pacers to offer him a five-year, $210 million extension, which would’ve been the richest contract in NBA history. With George now missing out on this big potential payday, it has been rumored that he is likely to be traded this summer, or will not be interested in re-signing with the team whenever he hits the free agent market next summer. As a Los Angeles native, the All-Star forward has expressed interest in playing for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers who seem to be the frontrunner to land George should he seek to take his talents elsewhere.

The rest of the NBA award winners for the 2016-17 season are set to be announced during the league’s inaugural awards show in New York City on June 26th.

Our Take
Ross Burkhart
Junior Reporter, General NBA Reporter

Most of the selections for this year’s All-NBA teams seem to be pretty accurate for the most part. I do believe Rudy Gobert should have been selected ahead of Anthony Davis for the First-Team because he was one of the top defensive players in the league this season, and was a key element in the Jazz’s success, as shown in their first round appearance against the Clippers. Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns also probably should’ve deserved more consideration for the teams, but it’s hard to argue against DeAndre Jordan’s selection as his field goal percentage, rebounding numbers, and defensive presence were all once again outstanding this season.

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