Donovan Mitchell is known for doing and saying the right thing from the moment he set foot in Salt Lake City. He consistently brushed off Rookie of the Year questions to talk about getting the Utah Jazz in the playoffs and being a better player on both ends of the court. And he’s put in the time to insert himself into the community and connect with fans.
Now, even as Jazz fans are still questioning the logic of selecting Duke’s Grayson Allen with the 21st overall pick, Allen’s former rival has apparently long since abandoned his doubts.
Grayson Allen + Donovan Mitchell = Sweet music to Jazz fans. pic.twitter.com/Q48Nmp3Xh5— ESPN (@espn) June 22, 2018
This very warm welcome may not change the minds of fans about the pick (unless, by being in Mitchell’s presence, Allen grew two inches, became a better ball handler, defender, and decided he won’t play dirty anymore), but it’s nice to see the former Blue Devil getting an early start with locker-room chemistry.
As the draft moved on and many of the guys Jazz fans hoped the front office was targeting went off the board, it began to feel like a selection of Allen was imminent. Unfortunately, not too many people were excited about it. Utah’s Lt. Govenor, obviously an invested fan, sent out this shortly before the inevitable happened.
Please don’t take Grayson Allen. Please don’t take Grayson Allen. Please don’t take Grayson Allen. Please don’t take Grayson Allen. Please don’t take Grayson Allen. Please don’t take Grayson Allen. Please don’t take Grayson Allen. Please don’t take Grayson Allen.— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) June 22, 2018
It should also be noted that the staff here at SLC Dunk were not exactly the biggest fans of the selection.
Our staff is ecstatic about drafting Grayson Allen. pic.twitter.com/IKHRE9DZyw— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) June 22, 2018
A lot of the rest of Jazz Twitter reacted the same way. To put it simply, Allen wasn’t the popular pick. But he’s the guy we have and he seems ready to win over the hearts of Jazz Nation.
The front office obviously like Allen’s game in college and did their due diligence. Allen reportedly impressed them and the coaching staff in his workout and there were some around the league that felt Allen was an underrated prospect.
I asked several execs, pre-draft, to pick this year's Donovan Mitchell, i.e., guy who'd go mid-1st round but be an unexpected star. One asst GM said Grayson Allen: "Like Mitchell, he’s got a live body. Tough as nails. Can really shoot." Lightning strikes twice in the Wasatch?— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) June 22, 2018
And if nothing else, at least he took time out of his day to speak with Gail Miller over the phone. That’s a good sign at least.
So what did Mr. Allen have to say about coming to Utah? Overall, he was very praiseworthy of the Jazz organization and of Mitchell. If you want to know exactly what he had to say, there’s a video of an interview between Allen and the media on UtahJazz.com.
Also, Donovan got burned by Rudy Gobert on Twitter.