Over the past couple of weeks since Donovan Mitchell showed up for Team USA training camp, he’s been one of the most talked about names on the roster. We saw him flying through the air throwing down a crazy alley-opp dunk in a scrimmage last week. We saw him cruise in the Blue/White scrimmage and notice how much the game has seemed to slow down for him. Several NBA media personalities have mentioned how good Mitchell has looked so far in camp, and these mentions got even more bolstered yesterday afternoon.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst joined Bill Simmons on his podcast yesterday, and the very first thing they discussed in detail was Donovan Mitchell at Team USA Camp. Windhorst mentioned how he had watched about five scrimmages himself, and also spoke to several executives who were heavily involved in Team USA training. The guy who caught his eye, and was mentioned by all those executives? Utah’s very own Donovan Mitchell.
Windhorst mentioned that Mitchell has “opened everyone’s eyes” by the way he’s exploded on the court, dominating in almost every game he’s played in. Simmons spoke about how he’s heard from many people that Donovan looks stronger and better in about every field. Windhorst and Simmons also discussed the Mitchell-Wade comparison, and what Donovan needs to do to elevate his game to match Wade’s jump when he was Spida’s age. Simmons specifically noted Wade’s free-throw attempts per game when he made his jump (almost 10 per game), and how if Mitchell can get to the rim and line more, it’s going to make a huge difference.
It still never really feels real that the Jazz have a guy who gets talked about frequently on national podcasts/TV/radio etc, continues to get comparisons to Dwyane Wade, and is currently the most talked about guy on Team USA. It’ll never feel normal to me, it’s just crazy.
Simmons and Windhorst also discussed the Jazz as a team, and if the really have a chance at contention like many have tabbed them with after an impressive offseason. Simmons mentioned his concerns about Utah’s “ability to bang” (cue Michael Scott GIF) and said they might be a little “too finesse” for him. Both Simmons and Windhorst raved about the new Jazz acquisitions in Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jeff Green, and Ed Davis, and said they are really going to cause problems for a lot of NBA teams this year. It’s a great time to be a Jazz fan, and this podcast highlights some of the main reasons for that.