98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is among a group of young NBA stars seeking league-financed insurance policies in the event of a career-threatening injury suffered in the NBA’s summer restart, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
That group, according to Woj, includes Tatum, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, and Miami’s Bam Adebayo, and comes with those players among those set for a massive cash-in (a max deal in the case of Tatum) following the expiry of their rookie contracts this fall.
As members of the 2017 NBA Draft Class, these five players are eligible for rookie extensions beginning with the start of the free agency period in mid-October. The increased risk of injury, based on a three month-plus league shutdown and a shortened training camp, has intensified concerns that the players are taking on heightened personal risk with the season’s resumption.
In his latest update on some of the trickier issues facing the league’s plans to crown a champion in 2020, Woj goes on to note that this group “hopes the collective voice of such a starry group of elite young talent could shape the league’s thinking on sharing in the risk on insurance not only for them, but a broader swath of players returning” to play this summer.
Tatum & Co.’s request comes after a week of player-led conferences that brought up some of the issues facing the players upon a potential return, and with NBPA vice president Kyrie Irving making it known that he doesn’t want to got to Orlando. For Kyrie (and others), the belief is that the league shouldn’t return due to the recent social injustices and unrest in the country.