The NBA announced their All-NBA teams today, Wednesday, June 4, and the Indiana Pacers' Paul George was selected to the third team. And while the honor seems like a simple surface-level acknowledgement of a player's hard work and accomplishments during the regular season, a little known rule could have ruined the Pacers' offseason had it not been for the foresight of the franchise.
It's called the "Derrick Rose Rule", and its aim is to reward young players for their achievements. The rule states that by the fifth year of a player's career, if they have won an MVP award, been named to the All-NBA team twice, or voted onto the All-Star team twice, then they can receive the maximum contract normally reserved for seventh-year players of the NBA.
Financially, this results in the opportunity for fifth-year players to receive up-to 30% of a team's salary cap money; as opposed to the 27% usually reserved for fifth-year stars that do not qualify under the Derrick Rose Rule.
In Paul George's case, this is an $11 million difference to the Pacers.
George qualified under the rule twice this year. First, when he was selected for his second All-Star game, and today, when he was voted onto the All-NBA team for the second time in his career. This could have meant bad news for a team like the Pacers, who, at the least, needed to hang onto their core group of players to have a chance at beating the Miami Heat in 2014-15.
But fans of the Pacers need not worry, as an unprecedented clause in George's contract freed the Pacers of any commitment to honoring the rule.
The monumental clause voided the Derrick Rose Rule in George's contract, and in exchange offered George the "player option" of free agency for the final year of his contract in 2018.
Whether this slick contract negotiation will prove beneficial for the Pacers in the long-term is unknown, but in the short-term future, the deal gives the Pacers a little breathing room to consider signing free agents like Lance Stephenson to more lucrative deals, and helping to assure that this year's Eastern Conference finalists will stick together in the 2014-15 season.