NBA awards votes could mean an extra $75 million for Pacers' Paul George
By Adam Kilgore
In theory, a clause tying awards voting to maximum salaries in the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement seemed fraught. Now that it is about to be put into practice, it seems downright nuts. Later this week, when writers and broadcasters send in their All-NBA teams, they may well determine the franchise trajectory of the Indiana Pacers and whether Paul George will put roughly an extra $75 million in his bank account.
That strange development - actually a workable solution for the NBA, but a faulty bargain for voters - derives from the concept of the Designated Player Exception. If a player approaching free agency on his second contract is named MVP or Defensive Player of the Year or makes an all-NBA team while either playing for the team that drafted him or that traded for him while on his rookie contract, he becomes eligible to sign a maximum contract extension well above the typical rate for his service time. The NBA pushed for the DPE to give teams an edge in signing their own superstars and to better match pay with performance.
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