SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It has been a rough week for the Utah Jazz, as Gordon Hayward has decided to take his talents to Boston.
But if anything has given Jazz fans hope for the future, it’s been the play of Donovan Mitchell.
In three Utah Jazz Summer League victories, Mitchell has averaged 15 points per game. He had four steals yesterday, and broke 3rd overall pick Jayson Tatum’s ankles with a crossover move, igniting the crowd during Thursday’s 68-65 win over the Celtics.
“It kind of all happened so fast, but it was just in the flow of the game,” Mitchell said. “It was definitely a spark. We didn’t really have energy in the first, so I just wanted to make my presence felt.”
Mitchell’s presence has definitely been felt. From showing off his shooting range, to his athleticism, to his defensive prowess, Mitchell has given Jazz fans something to get excited about.
“The success is great, but at the end of the day, it’s summer league,” Mitchell said. “When it gets to September, that’s when the real test starts. I’m just excited that I proved myself a little bit, and I just have to prove it against the big guys.”
“Usually when you defend, the offense becomes easier,” said Jazz Summer League coach Alex Jensen. “He has good feet, anticipation and he does a good job of corralling that aggression.”
As much early success as he’s had, Mitchell is staying humble. But the way he’s looked so far, there’s no way the Jazz can keep him out of the rotation.
“I think it’s just my character,” Mitchell said. “I don’t try to be too big time. If it was up to me, I’d sign every autograph out there, but I just have the time to. Just being real humble, that’s been my biggest thing. I’ve been under the radar for most of my life, and I just hope to continue that. Just continue to be patient, feeling the defense and know when to pick my spots.”
Mitchell will try to build on his performance in the Las Vegas Summer League beginning Saturday against Portland.