NBA young stars want insurance protection

Bam Adebayo, De'Aaron Fox, Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum spoke with NBPA about engaging with the NBA on the possible insurance policies.

Boston's Jayson Tatum is among the prominent young players in the NBA.   -  AP

As the NBA and its players continue to negotiate an attempt to restart the season, several young stars reportedly spoke with the NBA Players Association (NBPA) on Friday about the possibility of league-financed insurance policies to protect against career-threatening injuries.

According to a report Saturday by ESPN, Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo, Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox, the Los Angeles Lakers' Kyle Kuzma, Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell and Boston Celtic's Jayson Tatum spoke with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and senior counsel Ron Klempner about engaging with the NBA on the possible policies.

READ | NBA to allow 17-player rosters upon return

Those five were drafted in 2017, making them eligible for rookie extensions following the season.

The league and the NBPA have been hashing out details of the return-to-action plan in the wake of the NBA's hiatus prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The season was halted on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier this month, owners approved a plan to resume the season at the Walt Disney World Resort in the Orlando, Florida. The plan would call for 22 teams to take part, with teams sequestered in what is being called a “bubble.” Players are tentatively scheduled to arrive at Disney World from July 9-11 with the season resuming July 30.

But players around the league have reportedly become concerned about increased risks of injury with a prolonged shutdown due to COVID-19, a shortened training camp should play resume, and heightened risk of contracting and spreading the virus with players so closely confined in the bubble.

According to the ESPN report on Saturday, the NBA and the union are still negotiating the revised terms of the collective bargaining agreement, and protections for players in the event of serious illness or injury has been part of the discussions.

Citing a source, ESPN said policies for players on the brink of signing max extensions worth more than $100 million could cost $500,000 to cover the remainder of this season.

Multiple outlets also reported on Friday night that Nets guard Kyrie Irving lobbied some 80-plus players on a separate call to boycott the scheduled resumption of the season as a protest against racial injustice, but added he would support the players if they do decide to proceed with the scheduled restart.

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