Injuries are part of the game but they can cost the player or the team in more ways than one. Never was that more true so far in 2016, for Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis.
Last July, Davis signed a 5 year, 145 million dollar contract extension. Included in the contract extension was a 30% contract raise, over the life of the extension.
For Davis this meant a raise of 24 million dollars: $121 million for the original value, but with an additional raise up to 145 million with “The Rose Rule” provision.
“The Rose Rule” — named after Chicago Bulls player Derrick Rose — provides players coming off rookie contracts a maximum raise of 30% over the life of the extension.
Players must satisfy one of the following criteria before the extension kicks in, to receive the higher maximum salary:
Named to the All-NBA First, Second or Third team at least twice
Voted as a starter in the All-Star game at least twice
Feb 21, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) reacts after making a three point shot during the fourth quarter of the game. Davis scored 59 point at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pelicans defeated the Pistons 111-106. Mandatory Credit: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports
Named the NBA Most Valuable Player at least once
When Davis signed the extension in July, the 24 million dollar raise seemed like a sure thing. Although nothing in sports is an absolute, most assumed that Davis would at least be 3rd Team All NBA, in 2016.
“The Brow” was coming off an All NBA first team selection and was an ALL-Star game starter. Then the Pelicans dismal and injury riddled 2015-16 season kicked off. The Pelicans started the season 1-11 and finished the season 30-52, 11 games out of the 8th playoff seed.
Davis himself missed a quarter of the season, with a total of 21 games where he didn’t dress out. He was “shut down” for the the last 14 games, with a shoulder injury.
Davis averaged 24.3 points per game, shot 49.3% from the field, blocked, 2.0 blocks, and grabbed 10.3 rebounds per game. Those numbers were on par with the numbers Davis posted in 2014-15 season when he was First Team All NBA.
On Thursday, the ALL-NBA teams were announced and Davis’ name was excluded from the fifteen names on the list.Mar 6, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Boston Celtics at the Smoothie King Center. The Celtics won 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Davis fell 27 votes short of the 3rd team. Davis has never been named league MVP, but has been an All-Star 3 times during his career.
However, he’s only been named a starter once, and was named ALL NBA first team in 2015
Immediately the question was asked: Did the league have 15 better players better Davis?
That’s arguable, to say the very least.
As it was, the proverbial hand writing was on the wall.
Back in February, Davis was an All Star alternate in 2016 with over 400,000 votes, Tim Duncan and Enes Kanter, had more votes. Kanter — a bench player for the Thunder — actually finished with more votes than Davis (ouch!!!)
Were the All Star game & All-NBA team votes an indictment of the Pelicans play?
Also — because Davis missed 21 games, did that figure in him not being named ALL-NBA?
Probably.Feb 1, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) reacts during the fourth quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Grizzlies defeated the Pelicans 110-95. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
All-Star Game votes and All-NBA votes are not only a reflection of the individual’s talent(s) and stats; but also reflective of the team that he represents.
14 players on the All NBA team were on playoff contenders. DeMarcus Cousins who plays for the Sacramento Kings was the only exception.
— Anthony Davis (@AntDavis23) July 1, 2015
Davis’ extension was for 5 years; 145 million. Now, it’s a 5 year 121 million dollar contract.
The Pelicans meanwhile gained some cap relief and now have $24 million more in cap space over the next 5 years; meaning that they will have about 22 million to spend on Free Agents this offseason .
Injuries are part of the equation for Anthony Davis, but clearly, they can co$t you.
It goes back to the saying out of sight out of mind. The Brow and Pelicans success is contingent on WINS, not LO$$ES