Paul George Makes All-NBA Third Team

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Five 2013 All-Stars, but just one 2013 All-NBA Team member.

Paul George needs a new mantle. Earlier this year, the 23-year-old third-year wing was voted by the league’s coaches to play in his first All-Star Game. Then he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. After that, he was named to the All-Defensive Second Team. And now he has received his most prestigious honor yet: All-NBA Third Team.

Each year, selected media members vote on the All-NBA teams, which ostensibly recognize the 15 players who had the best seasons. Early in the year, it seemed like George might have an outside shot to make All-NBA, but I have to say that even after the tremendous year he had, I’m a little surprised he was so widely viewed as one of the top six forwards in the league.

Acclaim-wise, this lifts George a clear step above the litany of one- and two-time All-Stars that populate the league. All-NBA status is reserved for the best of the best. If you check the list of recipients, there aren’t many slouches. Georeg has officially entered the world of the NBA elite in the world’s eyes.

Other than prestige, this also could set Paul George up to make more money.

Generally, players with less than seven years of NBA experience can only make a maximum salary equal to 25% of the salary cap. But due to the the so-called “Derrick Rose Exception” instituted in the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union, any player who is named to two or more All-NBA teams becomes eligible to make a maximum salary equal to 30% of the salary cap, a sum otherwise reserved for players with seven or more years of experience.

Common sense says that the Pacers will likely try to lock up Paul George to a long-term, five-year extension this summer. This new wrinkle in George’s earning potential should have no effect on negotiations. If they come to terms on a max deal, which would begin in in the 2014-15 season after his current contract runs out, the agreed-upon deal would most likely just retroactively jump from 25% to 30% of the salary cap number for that season.

Here is the full list of All-NBA honorees:

1st Team
F: Kevin Durant
F: LeBron James
C: Tim Duncan
G: Kobe Bryant
G: Chris Paul

2nd Team
F: Carmelo Anthony
F: Blake Griffin
C: Marc Gasol
G: Tony Parker
G: Russell Westbrook

3rd Team
F: Paul George
F: David Lee
C: Dwight Howard
G: James Harden
G: Dwyane Wade

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