UTAH JAZZ

Report: Donovan Mitchell Among Young NBA Stars Discussing ‘Insurance Allowances For Players’

Jun 13, 2020, 3:07 PM | Updated: 10:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is one of many young basketball stars “talking with” the NBA Players Association “about facilitating with league on insurance allowances for players,” according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The young stars reportedly had a call on Friday evening to discuss “the possibility of league-financed insurance policies to protect against career-threatening injuries in the bubble restart in Orlando.”

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, more than 80 players were on the call Friday night.

Mitchell, along with fellow players from the 2017 NBA Draft class, will be eligible for rookie contract extensions this offseason.

According to Wojnarowski, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum joined Mitchell in the discussion with the NBPA.

Insurance policies would protect players for potentially losing future money in the event of an injury during the NBA’s restart.

Players will have been away from playing in NBA games for more than four months when the season reportedly begins again on July 30.

The NBA season was suspended on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Donovan Mitchell’s Contract

Mitchell, a former first-round pick, is slated to make $3,635,760 this season. The guard is still on his rookie deal but will be eligible to sign an extension with the Jazz this offseason.

Utah exercised its 2020-21 team option on Mitchell’s contract on October 18, 2019, but will likely look to lock up the young star on a long term deal sooner rather than later.

Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, NBA teams have a significant advantage of resigning players they’ve drafted. At the end of their rookie contracts, most players enter restricted free agency.

Restricted free agency allows the player’s current team to match any contract offer given to them. Additionally, the player’s home team can offer a larger overall contract.

In Mitchell’s case, the Jazz will likely offer the NBA All-Star a five-year deal worth 25 percent of the cap.

Mitchell could also opt to sign a short term contract. A shorter deal could potentially allow him to sign a more lucrative deal after the NBA’s financial situation has rebounded from the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.

Additional Details Of Players’ Call

The Jazz were reportedly represented by two players during the Friday night call. Utah’s starting backcourt of Mitchell and Mike Conley both participated in the conference call.

According to multiple reports, additional issues of racial injustice and COVID-19 were discussed during the call that lasted nearly two hours.

NBA star Kyrie Irving was one player who believed that the NBA shouldn’t return this season.

“Sources: Kyrie Irving led a call of 80-plus NBA players, including Chris Paul/Kevin Durant/Carmelo Anthony/Donovan Mitchell, and Irving and several players spoke up about not supporting resumed season due to nationwide unrest from social injustice/racism,” Charania tweeted.

However, Mitchell seemed to dismiss the report on Twitter. “Stop it……” the Jazzman tweeted in response to a post by Bleacher Report that summarized Charania’s tweet.

Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks elaborated on Charania’s tweets and clarified that Mitchell’s concerns were health-related.

“Regarding Donovan Mitchell,” Rooks tweeted. “Sources say that Donovan expressed his concerns about coronavirus (which he has already had) and the very high risk of injury. That was the context of his comments on playing/not playing.”

On March 12, Mitchell became the second NBA player known to have tested positive for the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Mitchell’s Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus a day earlier on March 11.

The league faces tough long term implications regardless of its decision to restart this season. If the league opts to play out its season, it could strain relationships with players who have expressed concern about returning to play.

However, canceling the rest of the season could lead to a restructuring of the NBA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement and potentially a lockout in the next season.

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