The NBA released its list of fifteen players named to the three All-NBA teams for the 2018-19 season and one notable name left off was Karl-Anthony Towns. The absence will cost him $32 million in future contract incentives.
The NBA’s latest Collective Bargaining Agreement incorporated the “supermax contract” – or Designated Veteran Player Extension – given to elite-level players who have to meet a certain set of criteria in order to qualify. Had Towns made any of the All-NBA teams this season, he would have been eligible to receive up to 30 percent of the Timberwolves current salary on the extension he signed back in September. Instead, he’ll only receive 25 percent of the team’s salary. The difference between that five percent turns out to be roughly $32 million, or $158 million over five years instead of $190 million.
Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard both earned the supermax by being named to the third- and first-team All-NBA, respectively. And like Towns, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal will all fall short of the criteria to be eligible for the supermax after missing out on All-NBA teams.
$158 million is still $158 million. But $190 million is an absurd number. While I personally didn’t pick Towns to make the All-NBA team as a center (I went with Joel Embiid [first-team], Nikola Jokic [second-team], and Rudy Gobert [third-team]), he had more than a legitimate argument. Considering everything he went through this season (Jimmy Butler, coaching change, etc.), Towns posting averages of 24.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 52 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep is damn impressive.