This is the complete list of NBA players that have withdrawn themselves from the Team USA roster prior to the FIBA World Cup next month. These players represented the biggest and brightest of the NBA’s stars included in Team USA’s roster, and now the American squad will be forced to play without them.
Amid all of these players pulling from the FIBA World Cup, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell has stayed firm in his commitment to the national squad.
Utah Jazz emerging star Donovan Mitchell is keeping his commitment to USA Basketball this summer, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 23, 2019
This news from the other day created quite the stir of a discussion on social media platforms the other day among Jazz fans. Some were stoked to see Mitchell keep this commitment with the opportunity ahead of him. Others were disappointed, in good faith of course, just simply wanting to protect him and ensure he was at full strength for the start of the NBA season months down the road. Both sides have their valid arguments. In terms of opportunity, however, this is going to be a great experience for Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell has accomplished much more in his first two seasons than your normal NBA player. 40-point games, signature shoe and other endorsement deals, player of the week awards, TV exposure, international fans, playoff wins, dunk contest, and the list goes on and on. This dude’s NBA career escalated very quickly. With such rapid progression in just two seasons, it feels right that Donovan Mitchell is getting another great accomplishment under his belt being invited to (and most likely making) the Team USA roster. It’s no small feat, no matter how you look at it.
Quite possibly the greatest good that will come from Donovan Mitchell’s Team USA stint is the overall experience that will be added to his game. Spending time in practices, film study and traveling with some of the most successful coaches of this era in Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr will great for Donovan. It will be good for him to learn from coaches with extensive championship experience. Mitchell has mentioned several times before how he loves to be a “sponge” whenever he’s working out or training with NBA veterans. Can you imagine how much he’s going to soak in talking with Gregg Popovich?
It’s also going to be very beneficial for Mitchell to rub shoulders with other NBA stars. Being able to pick the brain of five-time All-Star and NBA champion Kyle Lowry should be plenty of information just by itself. Even though Lowry isn’t the biggest star in basketball per se, he performed at a high level winning an NBA championship, and that’s something that Donovan needs to learn about. Throw in guys like Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton as well and there’s still some great talent on this USA roster for Donovan to learn from. Mitchell’s also going to be practicing and scrimmaging against his fellow up-and-coming stars like Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma, and Jaylen Brown, who are all actually pretty good friends with Mitchell already. This experience with these guys might just be enough to sway them in future free-agency decisions too, you just never know.
Last but not least, playing for Team USA is going to be some great exposure for Donovan Mitchell. Exposure might not be a problem for Mitchell at the moment, but you can never get enough. If he leads the squad in scoring (which is not that crazy to say, considering the roster) and guides them to a gold medal, there’s going to be a great amount of exposure added from this. It might help him in future All-Star voting being on display for the entire world to see. It might make a positive impact on coaches and media, sufficient to alter votes in his favor in All-NBA or other awards when it comes down to a narrow margin. As long as Mitchell can stay healthy (please Basketball Gods, we beg you), this is going to be a very positive thing for him.
I’m really excited to watch Donovan Mitchell play for Team USA. I’ve always loved watching Olympic and other international basketball competitions, and now getting to watch Mitchell play is going to be so much fun. It’s a new chapter in the book of Donovan Mitchell, and I’m here for it. It’s going to be a great opportunity for Spida, and if it goes like everything else in his career has thus far, it’s going to be really special.