Last Thursday, Donovan Mitchell was featured on ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast. (Link to Jordan Cumming’s quick hitter piece here.) While on the pod, Donovan mentioned that he would speak with star players—namely one of his good friends Paul George—during the offseason in an attempt to recruit one more big star to join him and Rudy in Utah.
True to his word, it looks like Donovan is already beginning the recruiting process. On Friday, which was apparently National Best Friend Day, Donovan posted this on his Twitter feed:
I am already geeking out at the possibilities a player of Paul George’s caliber would bring to this team. Think of the lineup possibilities. Think of the offensive sets Quin could think up. Think of the even more impenetrable defense we would have. If the Jazz want a chance to become a competitor, we absolutely need to take every shot possible at a big free agent. Some moves may need to be made to clear up some cap space, but with how the roster is currently composed—full of non-guaranteed contracts and players on the last year of their deals—I think it is possible to make one big signing. Donovan added in the podcast, “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.”
I might add, Paul George makes the City Edition jerseys look even better.
While we’re high on hope, why not kick it up a notch?
“I’m going to take my talents to Salt Lake City and join the Utah Jazz.” - LeBron James pic.twitter.com/HLJOTO8e9v— Jazz Nation (@JazzNation2018) June 10, 2018
If you aren’t sick of Donovan Mitchell mixes yet, here is a nicely edited piece created by Brotherhood Studios on YouTube. Donovan has certainly made waves in just his first year of being in the NBA. From winning the player-voted Rookie of the Year NBPA award, to winning the dunk contest, to being a major component in a second-round playoff run, this kid means business.
Donovan was sighted at the Mets vs. Yankees game last Friday. For those unaware, Donovan’s father is the director of player relations and community engagement for the New York Mets. This might just be a glimpse into an alternate reality where Donovan chooses baseball over basketball.
The Jazz hosted a few more prospects over the weekend. If you are like me, and have not kept up on the NCAA or the draft boards, feel free to head on over to our SLC Dunk 2018 NBA Draft Coverage page, where you’ll find multiple player profiles for potential first-round targets the Jazz will be taking a look at.
In this workout, the guy that obviously stands out the most is University of Utah guard Justin Bibbins. Bibbins is an undersized guard at 5-8, but he is very quick, has a nice shooting stroke (43.9% from 3 this past season), passes the ball well, and definitely has potential to be a solid 2nd or 3rd point guard if he can overcome some of his weaknesses and disadvantages.
Here is what Justin had to say in his workout interview.
Former @UtahMBB guard Justin Bibbins worked out with the Utah Jazz today. Watching the success of former Ute Kyle Kuzma serves as motivation for him to play in the NBA. Bibbins also participated in a pre-draft workout with the Lakers on June 1. pic.twitter.com/kIFJD0znU9— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) June 10, 2018
There are not many videos of his highlights, here is the best one I have found so far. You can do a little more snooping around YouTube, but there isn’t a nicely edited mix of his handiwork from what I have seen.
Deron Williams spent some time visiting the Utah amusement park Lagoon. He posted a picture on Instagram. In the image description, D-Will talks about how he complimented somebody on their #8 Williams jersey, and the person didn’t even recognize him. Maybe it was the floppy pink hat that threw him off.
Kurt Kragthorpe wrote a piece about D-Will returning to live in Utah.
“I love Park City,” Williams said. “There’s just a lot to do, and I made a lot of great friends. … It suits my lifestyle. People are nice ...”
He certainly warmed to the subject of the Jazz. I was the one who pointed out how the current Jazz haven’t matched the 54 wins of his 2007-08 team. Williams expects that standard to be overtaken soon. “That Donovan Mitchell kid is something special,” he said. “They’ll have a good team for a lot of years to come.”
Reflecting on his Jazz career, he said, “I had a great time. It gets overshadowed by how things ended. For me, I remember more of the good than the bad — and there wasn’t much bad. The Jazz were definitely my favorite team to play with. Coach Sloan was my favorite coach to play for, regardless of what everybody thinks.”
I personally hope the Jazz can do what the Celtics were able to do with Paul Pierce, and sign D-Will to a small contract so he can retire as a Jazz man. This might not happen quite yet, because he could still make a comeback. But as more time passes, I would love to see a good resolution to the whole debacle. Deron Williams is one of the most underappreciated faces in Jazz history.
For the poll today,
Which former Utah Jazz player is more disliked by the fanbase than any other?
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[Editor’s note: A prior version of this had Donovan Mitchell’s name spelled wrong. Yes, we know how his name is spelled. But the deep state auto correct doesn’t.]