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Rudy Gobert named to All-NBA Third Team as Donovan Mitchell left off

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) and guard Donovan Mitchell (45) congratulate each other at the end of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. Utah won 121-111.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) and guard Donovan Mitchell (45) congratulate each other at the end of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. Utah won 121-111. (John Amis, Associated Press)



SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert continues to add to his resume.

On Tuesday, Gobert was named to the All-NBA Third Team. It's the fourth time in his career that the Jazz center has been named to an All-NBA Team and third straight season making the Third Team. He made the Second Team in 2017.

Gobert averaged 14.3 points on a 67.5% field goal percentage, 13.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. He led the league in field goal percentage and total blocks. The All-Star season that earned him his third defensive player of the year award made Gobert a shoo-in for an All-NBA team, but it was never likely he'd finished any higher than the Third Team.

The First Team center, Denver's Nikola Jokic, won the MVP and the Second Team center, J Philadelphia's Joel Embiid, was second in MVP voting.

Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Golden State's Steph Curry, Dallas's Luka Doncic and LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard joined Jokic on the first team.

Former Weber State guard and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard), Phoenix's Chris Paul , New York's Julius Randle, and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James joined Embiid on the Second Team.

The Third Team was made up of Gobert, Miami's Jimmy Butler, Clippers forward Paul George, Washington's Bradley Beal and Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving.

One notable absence from the team: Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell received two Second Team Votes and 20 Third Team votes to finish ninth in voting among guards. That result just saved the Jazz some money

Mitchell signed a maximum contract extension last fall that will kick in at the beginning of next season. The NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement, however, has a provision that allowed Mitchell to earn a higher percentage of the salary cap if he'd made an All-NBA this season.

Mitchell's contract is guaranteed for five years and $163 million, and makes up 25% of the Jazz's salary cap. If he had made an All-NBA team, his total would have jumped to $195.6 million — that would have made up 30% of the Jazz's salary cap.

Mitchell was worthy of a spot on a team. He averaged 26.8 points per game on 43.8% from the field and a career-high 38.6% from 3. He averaged career highs in assists at 5.2 and rebounds at 4.4. And did it all with one of the highest usages in the league.

But there are only six spots. Did he have a better regular season than Curry, Doncic, Lillard, Paul, Beal or Irving? The league is stacked with high-caliber guards. It's hard to break on to one of the teams.

But while Mitchell will lose out on $32 million, that ultimately might be a good thing for his team in the future. Barring major changes, the Jazz won't have any salary cap room in the near future, the extra $6 million or so saved each season could help the Jazz have a bit more flexibility moving forward.

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