Two NBA rookies sign lucrative deal extensions

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Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz agreed to a new five-year contract extension worth a guaranteed $163 million. AFP

Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell landed lucrative extensions to their NBA rookie deals, US media reported on November 22 on the second day of the basketball league’s free agency negotiating period.

The Salt Lake City-based Deseret News was among the outlets reporting that all-star guard Mitchell had agreed a five-year contract extension worth a guaranteed $163 million with the Jazz.

The deal has escalators that could bring Mitchell’s five-year total to $195.6 million. The extra money would come if Mitchell earns all-NBA honours in the 2020-2021 season, the last year of his rookie-scale contract in which he is due to be paid $5.2 million.

It’s an investment in the future for the Jazz. Mitchell, the 13th overall selection in the 2017 draft was runner-up for Rookie of the Year honours in his first season and has been Utah’s leading scorer since he entered the league.

The 24-year-old finished the pandemic-disrupted 2019-2020 season averaging 24 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

Tatum, 22, also emerged as a star last season, setting career highs in scoring with 23.4 points per game, rebounding (7.0 per game) and assists (3.0 per game).

ESPN reported Tatum’s extension will be worth $195 million over five years, with a player option in the fifth year.

Another rising star, Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, has also been locked up by his club with a maximum five-year extension.

But according to reports the Kings could be bidding farewell to free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has signed a four-year offer sheet worth $72 million with the Atlanta Hawks.

Since Bogdanovic is a restricted free agent, the Kings had 48 hours to match Atlanta.