This offseason was set to be a momentous one for several up and coming NBA stars and it has not disappointed. Several of the games young stars coming off of rookie contracts have gotten paid this past week. These new contracts will change these young men’s lives forever and set their franchises in their respective directions for years to come.
The first news to break was that of Utah’s Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell got a 5 year nearly 200 million dollar deal. Mitchell, who has lead the Jazz in scoring in every season he has played for them, was thought to be the least likely to re-sign, but instead, he was the first. The Jazz did give him the coveted player option, which means he could bolt after the 2025 season. But it appears that Mitchell is happy in Utah.. for now.
Next was Boston’s Jayson Tatum. Tatums’s deal was exactly like Mitchells. Like Mitchell on the Jazz, Tatum has been the Celtics main guy each of his seasons in the NBA. With the departure of Gordon Hayward to Charlotte, the Celtics will now look at Tatum for more offensive production. Tatum is coming off a career-high of 23 points per game and his first all-star appearances.
Next was Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox. Fox was a surprise to say the least, the Kings obviously wanted to keep the young guard but he got a very similar deal to Mitchell and Tatum but has not had the production of the two all-stars. Still, the Kings are desperate for a star and Fox gives them just that.
2016’s second overall pick, Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans, also got paid. He signed a huge max contract to stay with the Pelicans. The Pelicans are putting together a very good team with the pieces they got for Anthony Davis and first overall pick Zion Williamson. Ingram lead the Pelicans in scoring last season and made his first all-star appearance.
Just today another max exertion was announced Miami’s Bam Adebayo was given a contract to Mitchell and Tatum, but unlike the two other class of 2017 all-stars, he does not have a player option and will be in Miami the entire 5 years.
The young players locking themselves down does dilute the 2021 free-agent class, but it gives many good teams direction for their future.