Donovan Mitchell is here to stay in Utah.
After three years of watching the former 12th overall pick develop into an All-Star scorer, the Utah Jazz and Mitchell have agreed to a five-year, $195 million rookie max extension, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal is reportedly worth $163 million in guaranteed money, and could rise to $195M if Mitchell meets the All-NBA criteria for the 2020-21 season.
The deal keeps one of the major pillars of the Jazz’s recent success intact. Since drafting Mitchell, the team has averaged nearly 50 wins per 82 games, though the team still hasn’t advanced past the Western Conference semifinals in the last decade.
However, with Mitchell now under contract until 2025, it looks like the team should get a few more chances at breaking through.
Jazz hold onto All-Star wing, unlike last time
As much as Mitchell has established himself as a star in Utah, his career there was initially defined by who he wasn’t.
Just a month after drafting Mitchell, the Jazz lost All-Star Gordon Hayward in free agency to the Boston Celtics. The exit of a homegrown star is always painful for a small-market team, but Mitchell’s play soon provided an effective salve for Jazz fans.
In his first year with the team, Mitchell was neck-and-neck with Ben Simmons for the Rookie of the Year award and might have been the deserving winner, depending on how you feel about rookie eligibility. Mitchell has continued to grow from there and averaged career highs in points (24.0), rebounds (4.4) and assists (4.3) per game last season.
Mitchell has been an ideal complement for two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, though their relationship seemed to experience some turbulence during the team’s COVID-19 fiasco last year. The pair have apparently mended things in the time since.
Mitchell’s extension is just one of a few major moves the Jazz have made this offseason so far. The team also reportedly locked down bench scorer Jordan Clarkson on a four-year, $52 million deal and brought back big man Derrick Favors on a three-year, $27 million deal.
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