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Donovan Mitchell using star power to recruit free agents

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The ROY candidate is using his influence to build a Big 3 in SLC

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

So the NBA world has been spending the last 6-8 months recognizing the potential and greatness of Donovan Mitchell. The former rookie star has been taking full advantage of that in the offseason, hanging around with stars and celebrities, and he isn’t done trying to leverage his influence.

Mitchell joined the WojPod for the full 40-minute episode and discussed a lot of things, among which was the prospect of drawing free agents to Utah. And he gave a solid sales pitch on the show.

“I think if you’re a free agent that wants to actually win ballgames and actually get to the Finals and not just doing it for show, then we’re where you want to be.”

One of the free-agent targets that is brought up the most is Oklahoma City’s Paul George. Something that would be the ultimate middle-finger to Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.

Adding a third star has become a theme with this franchise as it’s viewed as the best road to bringing a title to the state. Time will only tell whether or not free agents agree with Mitchell about Utah being the place to be to “win ballgames” or if the Jazz will need to get lucky in the draft again.

Optimism was and is one of the best attributes of the leaders for the Jazz (we all remember Rudy Gobert’s “we will be fine” tweet). Ricky Rubio recently displayed that same level of optimism by declaring that he plans to go to the NBA Finals with this team.

“We are young, we have a solid future and a team, and I feel that we still have to do something big. I see myself playing (in) the NBA Finals with the Jazz.” Rubio said according to Catalan Esports.

It’s a bold statement and statements of a similar nature have been made by other players in the past with little actual payout. Making such a proclamation is easy so Rubio needs to back it up. And perhaps that’s one more reason that the Spanish point guard missing the Houston series was so frustrating for fans and especially for him.

Former Jazzman, and most recently Cleveland Cavalier, Deron Williams is in Utah playing in a golf tournament this weekend. He’s frequently been seen in the state even though his exit nearly eight years ago left a bad taste in the mouths of most Utahans.

With the better part of a decade between that exit has helped him lose the title of Utah’s most hated person. Though he did get some help shedding that title from an outside source as Kurt Kragthorpe wrote for The Salt Lake Tribune.

The franchise’s performance this past season impressed Williams during his first winter away from the NBA, as the Jazz won another playoff series. “I don’t think anybody expected that, after losing Gordon,” Williams said. Fans “were ready to blow up the world when he left. I’ll tell you what, he took over Public Enemy No. 1 from me, real quick.”

And then Williams smiles mischievously, as if he’s dribbling toward the 3-point line, stopping and delivering a big shot: “Thanks, Gordon.”

The Jazz continue to do their due diligence to build a championship roster. Today, the team is holding a free-agent mini-camp.

These names don’t look like much on the outside, but this is where guys like Royce O’Neale can be found.

As much as I love Derrick Favors, his Twitter account is painfully cryptic a lot of times. And his latest tweet (nearly two months after his last one) was...interesting.