APPARENTLY THE NBA has made the smart decision that its teams' ability to make offseason plans are more important than a made-for-television awards show.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the NBA will announce the 15 players who will comprise the three 2016-17 all-NBA teams before the 2017 draft on June 22, not wait to do it during its first-ever awards show June 26 on TNT.
Because being All-NBA is among the factors that determine if a veteran player is eligible for a designated player exception under the new collective bargaining agreement, knowing that status could have a huge impact on a team's draft, trade and free-agent strategies.
Draft picks and/or trades are often made in part due to the contract status of players already on teams.
The DPE will allow veterans entering their eighth or ninth seasons who have been with their original team their entire career, or with a team that traded for them during their rookie contract, to be become eligible for a considerably larger deal to stay with that team.
Because the CBA also allows teams to offer extensions the season before the final contract year, knowing the DPE status could impact whether a team retains or moves a star player.
Right now, the player most likely to be swirled up in this confusion is Paul George, the Indiana Pacers' four-time All-Star forward.
George, who turns 27 next week, is under contract for 2017-18, but if he qualifies for a DPE by being selected All-NBA, Indiana can sign him to a five-year extension projected to be worth $209 million that would begin in the 2018-19 season. He made the All-NBA third team last season, for the third time.
If George doesn't make All-NBA for 2016-17, he could stay in Indiana next season and get the same extension if he makes All-NBA for 2017-18.
Still, it would be critical to George, the Pacers and any team that might be interested in acquiring him to know his DPE status before the 2017 draft.
Knowing the DPE status of George or any other potentially eligible player could mean the difference between a team trading that player or rolling the dice that it will be able to entice him to stay with more money.
If George is not DPE-eligible, the Pacers would retain his "Larry Bird rights," but the maximum deal they could offer would be for five years and a projected $179 million.
That's still more coin than anyone else could offer, but if things were simple it wouldn't be the NBA.
George has made no secret that he wants to be in a position to compete for a championship and isn't sure he can accomplish that in Indiana, which was swept out of the Eastern Conference playoffs by Cleveland on Sunday.
If George is serious about valuing a title more than extra money, a projected maximum deal of four years and $133 million as a free agent might lure him to a team he considers a contender.
George will have earned more than $80 million in the NBA at the end of the 2017-18 season.
If George never becomes DPE-eligible, his projected earnings to stay a Pacer and possibly never contend would be around $36 million a year.
Conversely, a four-year, maximum free-agent deal would be around $33 million a year with a shot at a title and likely another big contract at age 31.
Add in endorsement money for playing with on a top team and things become easier for George to digest.
If George is not DPE eligible, the Pacers will have to decide if they want to risk him becoming an unrestricted free agent for 2018-19.
It would be devastating for Indiana to lose its franchise player for nothing or to get less than value in a trade-deadline deal.
There will be suitors.
New Lakers president Magic Johnson literally committed tampering Monday on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" by saying that while he would not talk to George about coming to the Lakers if he ran into him because that would be tampering, he added, "I'm going to be wink-winking. You know what that means, right?"
Johnson no longer needs to accidentally cross paths with George.
Personally, I can think of a team in South Philadelphia that would do well if it could trade for George.
It would be a gamble because George could still become a free agent, but a young nucleus of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric might convince George that Philadelphia has the championship window he is looking for to sign a five-year extension under his Bird rights.
The draft lottery in May would have more intrigue if the Sixers and Lakers both were considering a run at George.
Should the Lakers fall out of the top three and their pick conveys to the Sixers, they would likely have to offer a player package starting with rookie building-block Brandon Ingram just to get on the table against a Sixers offer highlighted by a top-five pick.
George is one player in one scenario, but Houston with James Harden, Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook, Utah with Gordon Hayward and the Los Angeles Clippers with Blake Griffin could all have their offseasons directly affected by DPE status.
That's why the NBA couldn't wait until after the draft to announce the All-NBA teams.