Donovan Mitchell got the life-changing news Sunday and immediately began celebrating. He ripped off his T-shirt, ran out of the house and leaped into the pool.
And just as he did in his first three seasons with Utah, he made a huge splash.
Mitchell is now a max-contract recipient, he and the Jazz agreeing Sunday on a five-year extension that guarantees him $163 million — the new paydays start kicking in with the 2021-22 season — and could be worth $196 million if he reaches the All-NBA level.
“A dream does not become reality through magic it takes sweat, determination and hard work,” Mitchell wrote on Instagram after sharing a toast with CAA Basketball agent Ty Sullivan and some family members as the celebration continued.
The Jazz did not immediately comment. Typically, teams cannot discuss contracts publicly until they are signed, and it was unclear when Mitchell will put pen to paper to complete the transaction.
Mitchell averaged 20.5 points as a rookie, then 23.8 points in his second season and 24.0 points last season as a third-year player who wound up making the All-Star team for the first time. And even though the Jazz lost in first round of this past season’s playoffs in a seven-game epic against Denver — the Nuggets rallied from a 3-1 series deficit — Mitchell was dazzling.
He averaged 36.3 points in that series, including 57 points — the third-highest scoring total by any player in an NBA playoff game — in Game 1 of the matchup. He followed that with a 51-point outburst in Game 4, a game where he and Denver’s Jamal Murray became the first duo with 50-point performances in the same playoff game; Murray had 50.
Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox was the first player from the 2017 draft class to get the max extension this offseason, doing so on Friday night. Like Mitchell’s, his is for $163 million over five years starting in 2021-22, with the chance of escalating to the $196 million mark if he reaches the All-NBA level or meets other criteria.
Sunday was the first day that most NBA free-agent contracts could be signed. Free agent talks around the league opened Friday evening, and many of the deals that were struck over the weekend started becoming official Sunday.
In other developments:
Willie Cauley-Stein is returning to the Dallas Mavericks on an $8.2 million, two-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The Mavericks acquired the veteran center from Golden State before the trading deadline last season, and his impact was minimal before he opted out of the restart following the coronavirus shutdown because of the impending birth of his daughter.
Cauley-Stein declined the $2.3 million option on the two-year deal he signed with the Warriors. His return gives Dallas another option behind Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell. It’s possible Porzingis and Powell will start, with Powell likely filling the traditional role of the center. Dallas also has Boban Marjanovic in a backup role.
The 27-year-old Cauley-Stein averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13 games for the Mavericks. His career averages in five seasons are 9.6 points and 6.3 boards.
The Warriors completed the trade that will bring guard Kelly Oubre to them from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Golden State gave up a conditional 2021 first-round draft pick and a 2021 second-round pick for Oubre, who will help the Warriors deal with the loss of Klay Thompson to major injury for the second consecutive season.
Thompson missed last season with a torn ACL; he’ll miss this season with a torn Achilles.
Oubre averaged a career-high 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in 56 games with Phoenix last season. He was traded to the Thunder last week.
The Pacers completed the re-signing of Justin Holiday to a three-year, $18 million deal. Holiday was the only Indiana player to appear in all 73 regular-season games a year ago, averaging 8.3 points.
“Re-signing Justin was one of our main priorities going into free agency,” Pacers President Kevin Pritchard said. “His contributions last season were tremendous. He can play multiple positions and is extremely versatile.”
AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed to this report.
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