By Cody Westerlund–
(CBS) Bulls wing Jimmy Butler has been named to the all-NBA third team, the first such honor of his career.
The nod came after the 27-year-old Butler posted career highs with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. In a ballot of 100 media members, Butler received 19 second-team votes and 45 third-team votes. He didn’t receive a first-team vote.
The first team consisted of Rockets guard James Harden (unanimous 100 first-team votes), Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (one vote shy of unanimous), Cavaliers forward LeBron James (one vote shy of unanimous), Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Pelicans center Anthony Davis.
Here’s a look at the three teams:
The all-NBA voting matters beyond recognition. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, it’s a leading component in whether certain players are eligible for the designated player veteran extension — known by some as the “super-max” — which allows for a player to sign a lucrative deal with their current team if they’re entering their eighth or ninth NBA season and meet certain criteria. If Butler makes the an all-NBA team next year, he would qualify to receive a designated player veteran extension in summer 2018. He could also qualify for it if he makes an all-NBA team in the 2018-’19 season.
If negotiated between the sides, such a deal would kick in for the 2019-’20 season, starting at $42 million in his first season and being worth more than $246 million over five years if current salary cap projections hold.
Butler is under contract through 2018-’19, with a player option for 2019-’20 for $19.8 million that he’d likely opt out of considering his stature as one of the league’s top players.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.