Some of the league’s best young players talked to the National Basketball Players Association on Friday about creating an insurance system financed by the league that would protect them in case of career-threatening injuries when play resumes in Orlando, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sources tell Wojnarowski that Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum were part of a call with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and senior counsel Ron Klempner. All five players will be eligible for rookie-scale extensions this offseason, and they want the union to negotiate insurance policies with the NBA that would protect their future earnings.
Players in general believe they’re facing a higher-than-normal risk of serious injury after not being able to play for more than three months. Adebayo, Fox, Kuzma, Mitchell and Tatum are hoping their combined voices will help win protections for players on all 22 teams involved in the restart.
The league has been in talks with the union about providing some form of protection for players who are either injured or suffer severe cases of coronavirus during the games in Orlando, according to sources. Negotiations are continuing on possible alterations to the Collective Bargaining Agreement before play resumes.
Sources estimate to Wojnarowski that policies for players on the brink of a maximum extension could cost up to $500K to protect them through the end of the playoffs. He adds that apart from a career-ending incident, it would be difficult to prove that any injury is directly responsible for a reduction in future earnings.