Donovan Mitchell is underpaid
Donovan Mitchell is entering the third season of the maximum contract extension that he signed with the Utah Jazz; how could he be underpaid? In the NBA “max contracts” are not created equal; a player coming off of his rookie contract is eligible for the “rookie maximum extension” which is often called the “fun max” because it gives a player life-changing money but is capped at 25 percent of the cap (or 30 percent if a player qualifies for a Rose-rule deal).
Mitchell will therefore make just $33.1 million next season, which is a large amount but nowhere near the top salaries in the league. His salary ranks just 36th in the entire league next year, behind everyone from teammate Darius Garland to Ben Simmons (he did qualify for the Rose rule) and nearly $20 million behind Stephen Curry for the top salary in the league.
After making Second Team All-NBA last season, Mitchell is clearly underpaid when compared to the other top players in the league. He probably doesn’t have a claim to being a Top 10 player in the league, but he probably settles into the 11-20 range; he’s well underpaid for that level of play.
Mitchell’s salary will continue to be a talking point, as the Cavaliers try to convince him to sign a long-term contract extension to stay with the team. Mitchell can exercise a player option to hit free agency in 2025, starting the timer on his time with Cleveland.