Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell is now part of the NBA Players Association leadership team.
As announced Saturday, Mitchell, along with Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson, was elected vice president of the NBPA. They fill slots left by Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving and Golden State Warriors wing Andre Iguodala, whose three-year terms were vacant; and Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams, who was elected first vice president. New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum is the current president of the NBPA.
“It is very humbling to be elected by my colleagues as Vice President,” Mitchell said in the release announcing the moves. “I wanted to take on this leadership role within the union to pave the way for the next generation of players and help current and future players better understand all aspects of our business, on and off the court. This is an exciting new chapter for me to grow as a leader and work to move this union forward.”
“We are thrilled to have Grant in this elevated position, and we welcome Jaren and Donovan to the Executive Committee,” McCollum said according to the release. “Their experience and ability to connect with the young players in our league will be vital as we move forward as a union. I also want to take a moment to thank Andre and Kyrie for their service. Kyrie’s insights have been invaluable since joining us in 2020, and Andre has been a key leader for us for over a decade. Their leadership will be missed but we know they will remain close and continue to support us as we work for the good of the brotherhood.”
Mitchell steps into this leadership role at an interesting time for the union. There are ongoing discussions between the union and the league regarding a new CBA. During negotiations, both sides have pushed back the opt-out date to allow more time to negotiate.
According to The Athletic, NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio said Saturday that the two sides have exchanged “hundreds” of proposals. Key negotiating points include a possible salary cap settlement before 2025 when a new media rights deal kicks in; the proposed in-season competition; again allowing players to go straight from high school to the NBA; and the possibility of tying awards to the amount of games played.
On Saturday, according to ESPN, Tremaglio and NBA commissioner Adam Silver said they hoped to reach an agreement.
“We are very motivated to do this,” said Tremaglio. “Our players are very competitive, and we want to see (so far) finished as well. So, it is a priority for us.”
“I want to say that it is an absolute priority for us as well to find a solution as soon as possible,” said Silver. He also said, per ESPN, that he hopes a deal will be completed before the next non-repudiation deadline on March 31.
In addition to Mitchell, the Cavs have wing Dylan Windler as the team’s representative player.