Not only do the Utah Jazz have one of the best players in the NBA 24-years old or younger, but they may have the best player in franchise history since Karl Malone. Donovan Mitchell has been sensational in his first three seasons in the NBA and put himself in elite company last year in the postseason.
Donovan Mitchell made his first of what should be many NBA All-Star game appearances last season and while he was fantastic for the Jazz before the NBA shutdown, he was even better in the resumption of play in Orlando. The Jazz ultimately finished the season 44-28, drawing the 6-seed in the Western Conference and a matchup with the Denver Nuggets in the first-round.
Although they ultimately fell to the Nuggets in Game 7, Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray gave NBA fans one of the best playoff series in the history of the NBA playoffs. These two young superstars were sensational and both joined elite company when they joined Michael Jordan (1988) and Allen Iverson (2001) as the only players in NBA history to put up two 50-point games in a single playoff series.
In Game 1 of the series, Mitchell scored 57-points, setting a new Jazz single playoff game scoring record, passing Karl Malone who scored 50 points in 2000, as well as posting the third highest scoring total in a Playoff Game in NBA history behind Michael Jordan (63 points, 1986) and Elgin Baylor (61 points, 1961).
Mitchell also joined Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history who were 23 years old or younger to score 57+ points in a playoff game and finished with 33 made three-pointers in this series, setting a new Utah Jazz team record for most three-pointers made in a single playoff series and breaking Steph Curry’s NBA Record of 32 made three-pointers in a single playoff series.
The list goes on-and-on for the kind of record breaking season Donovan Mitchell had last year and if he continues to play at this kind of level, we may be talking about a lot more than All-Star appearances for Mitchell as he could play his way into the All-NBA conversation and potential MVP conversation. Nobody saw this coming for Donovan Mitchell entering the NBA Bubble and even though the Jazz lost in the playoffs, it almost feels like they won in a way given what they brought out of Donovan Mitchell.
With the emergence of Mitchell as an NBA superstar, the Utah Jazz have two high-level players with him and Rudy Gobert in the paint, but in order for this team to be a championship contender, they still need to make a few more moves. The Western Conference is loaded with talent and while Mitchell is great, he cannot take on the likes of the Lakers or Clippers by himself.
Let’s take a look at a trade that would send Kevin Love and another high-level talent to Utah in exchange for a proven veteran guard and some first-round draft picks.