Harden, James headline All-NBA first team
(TSX / STATS) -- Houston Rockets point guard James Harden was the only unanimous choice on the All-NBA first team in balloting announced by the league on Thursday.
Harden earned all 500 points by being named as one of five first-team selections on each of the 100 ballots.
Joining Harden on the first team are Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (498), Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook (498), San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (490) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (343).
James and Westbrook each received one second-team vote in failing to join Harden as a unanimous choice.
Earning second-team honors were Utah center Rudy Gobert (339 points), Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (290), Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (258), Warriors small forward Kevin Durant (239) and Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (236).
Selected to the third team were Golden State power forward Draymond Green (134), Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (125), Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler (102), Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (62) and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (54).
Among the omissions were forwards Paul George (Indiana Pacers) and Gordon Hayward (Jazz) and there are financial effects involved.
George and Hayward would have eligible to receive five-year, $207 million offers from their current teams if they had made one of the three teams, due to terms in the collective bargaining agreement. If they depart as free agents, the most they can receive is a four-year, $133 million offer.
George can opt out of his contract following the 2017-18 season and speculation is running rampant that he is highly interested in landing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hayward can opt out of his contract this summer and there are rumors that the Celtics and Pacers would be among the suitors.
Leonard also is in line to prosper by his second straight first-team selection. Following next season, San Antonio would likely need to offer the maximum four-year, $168 million to retain his services.
Westbrook wasn't a unanimous choice despite setting an NBA single-season record of 42 triple-doubles. He was the first player to average a triple-double over a season since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62.
James was named first-team All-NBA for the 11th time, including each of the past 10 seasons. The 11 first-team selections tie Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone for most in NBA history.
Harden recorded a career-best 22 triple-doubles.
Among other omissions were Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, Clippers point guard Chris Paul and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
Updated May 18, 2017