The announcements for this season’s All-NBA selections have come and gone. Yet, Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum was nowhere to be found — an omission that will cost him greatly.
Despite improving in essentially every category upon his All-NBA third-team finish from a season ago, the 23-year-old phenom was left on the outside looking in of All-NBA honors this season. In return, Tatum will miss out on a $33 million boost on his rookie extension.
According to numerous reports, including New York Times’ Mark Stein, Tatum and Utah Jazz standout Donovan Mitchell were each eligible to receive an additional $33 million if named to one of the three All-NBA teams. Tatum, who inked a five-year extension worth $163 million, would have seen that number escalate to around $195 million had he met the All-NBA criteria.
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Kyrie Irving Strikes Again?
Interestingly enough, Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds revealed that Tatum actually received more votes than the Brooklyn Nets guard — who earned All-NBA Third Team honors. With that said, Irving made the cut due to him being one of the top-six vote-getters at his position. As Reynolds notes, the NBA classifies players by position for All-NBA and Tatum wasn’t among the six vote leaders at forward.
With that said, things would have looked vastly different had more fans voted for Los Angeles Clippers’ wing Paul George as a guard rather than a forward, per NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman.
Tatum received a not-nice-enough 69 voting points – more than All-NBA third-team guard Kyrie Irving (61). But because George (89) received more votes at forward, he took the last forward slot rather than the guard spot that went to Irving.
Full-List of All-NBA Selections: Was Tatum Snubbed?
While it’s difficult to argue with such a star-studded array of players, it’s also hard to imagine Tatum didn’t deserve an All-NBA nod. Unanimously viewed as one of the biggest snubs from this year’s selections, Tatum put together a career season in 2020-21, averaging personal bests in points (26.4), rebounds (7.4) and assists (4.3). As CBS’ Brad Botkins pointed out, that type of production was superior to a handful of players that Tatum was ultimately passed up for when it came to selection time.
The Celtics All-Star averaged more points, rebounds, steals and blocks, and fewer turnovers, than [Paul] George, and more points, rebounds and blocks than Jimmy Butler while also finishing with a higher 3-point and free-throw percentage.
Here’s a look at the entirety of the All-NBA selections for the 2020-21 NBA season:
Tatum Commits to Team USA
While Tatum may have not cracked the All-NBA team, he will be joining some of the league’s brightest stars on the Olympic stage. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes has reported that Tatum has committed to playing in July’s Tokyo Olympics as part of Team USA.
Joining Tatum will be the NBA’s third-leading scorer, Damian Lillard, and three-time NBA champion Draymond Green, per The Athletic.