The Utah Jazz are having a busy off-season. Yes, tonight is the first game of the Utah Summer League. And yes, right now the team heads from Gail Miller, Dennis Lindsey, and Quin Snyder all the way down to Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio are in an NBA Free Agency meeting with Gordon Hayward. But we still have NBA Draft stuff going on . . . I think with all that’s happen since then we’ve kind of forgotten how amazing our newest lotto pick is.
But after tonight’s first game we’re all going to be talking about Donovan Mitchell (Louisville). I got a chance to start talking about him a little early, thanks to Spectrum News.
I talked with their Sports Team, anchor Andrew Chernoff and producer Garrett Moore, about the combo guard. And really? It was great to gush about him. Mitchell has great genes, and it shows. His dad was drafted to play major league baseball (we see you Houston Astros!), and his son inherited all of his fast twitch muscles. Donovan can jump out of the gym, and is super fast. Think of him as the athletic equivalent of a DeShawn Stevenson - but with a great head on his shoulders.
Tonight we’re going to see his long arms disrupt the opposition, and hopefully some turnovers that turn into high lights. The NBA tweeted out the Top 10 plays from last year’s Salt Lake Summer League, and none of them were from a Jazz player. That ends with Donovan.
Mitchell isn’t just going to be a showcase in July, he’s going to make the roster and be a part of the rotation this upcoming season. If Gordon is here, or if he’s not, he’s going to dig in and play the type of ball that Rick Pitino taught him to - be hard nosed on defense, and run up and get easy buckets. That’s something Quin Snyder’s club can really use. With Ricky handling the ball Donovan can stealthily move without it and capture lobs and dunk it on guys. With the ball Donovan is going to make the right decision and play to his strengths.
It’s going to be a fun year for him, who I personally expect to be on the All-Rookie team 12 months from now. And it’s going to be a fun summer league! Watch it all on NBA TV if you can’t get tickets in town!