Hit that Star Spangled Banner music. USA Basketball is interested in adding Donovan Mitchell to its roster when it heads off to play in the FIBA World Cup taking place in Shenzhen, China, just outside of Hong Kong. Marc Stein reports that Donovan Mitchell’s name has been gaining steam.
This would make a busy summer for Donovan Mitchell—not that any NBA player has a real offseason at this point as most are training and preparing already for another long 82 game grind. Donovan Mitchell is releasing his signature shoe first week of July then shortly after the FIBA World Cup happens August 31st through September 15th. That would put him finishing FIBA one week before training camp.
Most NBA teams have a love/hate relationship when it comes to these FIBA events. The Utah Jazz lost a year of Dante Exum when he was injured playing in qualifiers for Australia. The Indiana Pacers lost a season of Paul George when he was injured in a USA team scrimmage. That love part is these players get to work out and practice against the very best the NBA has to offer. These relationships pay off down the line when it comes to recruiting. For small market teams, that’s also akin to letting a fox into the henhouse. But if Donovan Mitchell plays in these, it’s just going to push his stardom to another level, especially in China.
The Utah Jazz has other players who will be playing in the FIBA World Cup. Rudy Gobert will be representing France and Joe Ingles will be playing with the Boomers. While Donovan Mitchell and the USA team will be heavy favorites, Rudy Gobert is looking for the upset. When talking about the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Rudy Gobert said, “We want to have a great run, and try to fight for the tops spots (at the World Cup). Nothing is impossible, we want to fight for the best and we would like to write another great page in France’s basketball history. The level of the competition is going to be very high, so a lot of teams can reach the top three spots.”
It should be a great tournament and seeing three Utah Jazz players there will make it all the more fun.