New NBA Insurance Plan Protects Donovan Mitchell

Jun 23, 2020, 11:21 AM
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)...
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA and the NBA Players Association agreed upon revised plans to restart the NBA season. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two parties agreed to the deal that clarifies player salaries, roster moves, and details surrounding players who choose to skip the remainder of the season. The league also agreed to a short term insurance plan protecting young players in case of injury.

Included in the agreement are rules regarding the league’s new transaction window. Beginning Tuesday, teams with open roster spots can fill those vacancies with eligible free-agents. Furthermore, teams can convert players on two-way contracts into full-time NBA deals.

For example, the Jazz could convert Jarrell Brantley’s two-way contract into a standard NBA deal to fill in for the injured Bojan Bogdanovic. The Jazz could then fill the vacated two-way spot between June 27 and June 30. In total, teams can bring 17 roster players to Orlando.

Additionally, teams can replace a player who tests positive for COVID-19 during the postseason in Orlando. Teams must sign a replacement player within a week of the positive test. That prevents teams from waiting to see how quickly a player recovers from the virus. Any player replaced on the roster will not be allowed to rejoin the team.

Injured players or those excused from returning to Orlando due to being high risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 won’t be docked pay. However, players who don’t receive clearance to sit out the remainder of the year will lose their pay for each game missed.

NBA Insurance Plan

One concern among NBA players was the risk of injury upon returning to action this season. Some players, including Jazz guard  Donovan Mitchell, worried the injury risk after a four-month hiatus could jeopardize future earning potential. Mitchell is eligible to sign an early contract extension this offseason. The team is expected to offer Mitchell the maximum salary available.

According to Wojnarowski, the NBA and the NBAPA have agreed to an insurance policy to protect players in Mitchell’s spot. Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum, De’Aaron Fox, and Kyle Kuzma are also eligible to sign rookie extensions this offseason.

“NBA and NBPA have agreed to put into place an enhanced insurance plan for players in Orlando that would cover career-ending injuries related to Covid-19 or conventional basketball injuries, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Potential group policy would cover players for several million dollars.”

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