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Jokic joined by familiar names on All-NBA first team

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Jokic joined by familiar names on All-NBA first team

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After winning his third Most Valuable Player award in four years earlier this month, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic headlined this year’s All-NBA teams by earning his sixth selection in a row and fourth overall on Wednesday.

Jokic, who was supplanted on the first team last season by 2022-23 MVP Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, led the balloting, the first year of the award being positionless — in part because of the annual slugfest between the two for the one first-team All-NBA center spot.

The irony is that Embiid is one of several players this season — along with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler — who made All-NBA last season but wasn’t eligible this year due to the newly created 65-game rule for top awards.

Despite the rule change, joining Jokic on the first-team are four players besides Embiid who were named first-team All-NBA last year: Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.

It was the sixth straight first-team selection for Antetokounmpo; fifth consecutive selection for Doncic; the third straight for Tatum; and the second in a row for Gilgeous-Alexander. Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander are the only unanimous first-team picks.

Doncic becomes the third player with five first-team All-NBA selections before turning 26, joining Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant.

For Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander, the All-NBA nods mean they are poised for supermax extensions that can be signed in 2025, both of which would set records.

Doncic can sign a five-year deal worth about $346 million, starting at nearly $60 million in 2026-27 and ending at about $79 million in 2030-31. Gilgeous-Alexander will be eligible to sign a four-year extension worth about $294 million. His would start in 2027-28 at around $65 million — and the final year, 2030-31, would see him earning just over $81 million, or nearly $1 million per game. It would be the first time an NBA player’s annual salary has topped $80 million.

Also seeing major financial boosts from their selections are Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (second team) and Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (third team), both of whom agreed to extensions last summer that are worth about $205 million but now will be valued at about $245 million over the next five seasons.

Haliburton is the first Pacers player to make an All-NBA team since Victor Oladipo after the 2017-18 season.

Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, meanwhile, is another first-time pick, making the second team after leading New York into the second round of the playoffs. He is the first Knicks guard to earn an All-NBA selection since Walt “Clyde” Fraizer after the 1974-75 season.

Along with Brunson and Edwards on the second team are Phoenix‘s Durant, who earned his 11th selection, tying for the 12th most in NBA history; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, who was tabbed for the sixth time and first since 2021; and the Los Angeles LakersAnthony Davis, who picked up his fifth selection and first since 2020.

Beyond Haliburton on the third team are Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis, who made his second straight third team; Suns guard Devin Booker, who made it for a second time after landing a first-team selection in 2022; and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who earned a spot for the 10th time in his career.

LeBron James, 39, was also selected to the third team, making him the oldest player to make an All-NBA team. He was already the youngest player to make All-NBA when he was voted onto the team for the 2004-05 season.

James has been picked in 20 of his 21 seasons, the most all time; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Duncan are next with 15 selections each.

James received one first-team vote, meaning he has received one in 19 of his 21 seasons (exceptions were 2019 and 2023).

ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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