Levon Satamian | April 18th, 2019
Arguably the best player in the 2017 draft, but how did he get there?
Donovan Vernell Mitchell Jr. was born in Elmsford, New York. He played AAU basketball for The City and Riverside Hawks which were programs based out of New York City. He attended Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut, and then he transferred to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, for his junior and senior years. Mitchell played baseball too in high school, but mainly focused on basketball once transferring to Brewster Academy.
He committed to the University of Louisville to play college basketball. Mitchell chose to wear number 45 because he wanted to show his appreciation to Michael Jordan. In his freshman year, Mitchell averaged 7.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. In his sophomore year, he averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He was named to the First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
In 2017, Mitchell was drafted 13th overall by the Denver Nuggets, only to be traded to the Utah Jazz for Trey Lyles. We all know who won the trade between the Jazz and Nuggets. In July of 2017, Mitchell signed a four-year rookie scale contract with the Jazz. Less than a week later, Mitchell signed a two-year shoe deal with Adidas.
Last season, Mitchell had a great rookie year. If it weren’t for Ben Simmons’ great year, Mitchell would have undoubtedly been the rookie of the year. In his first year, Mitchell averaged 20.5 points, on 43.7% shooting, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. The Jazz were 5th place in the Western Conference last season. They were able to upset the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games last season during the playoffs. But, they fell short to the Rockets in the second round.
Mitchell also won the Slam Dunk contest in 2018. This year, Mitchell has improved, as expected, averaging 23.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. As a result of Mitchell’s improvement, the Jazz remained 5th place in the wild Western Conference. They are currently facing off against the Rockets, and Mitchell needs to have a big series for the Jazz to get past the Rockets.
Mitchell can be a big-time player in the NBA.
During the 2017-2018 season, Mitchell appeared on the cover of SLAM Magazine and is now starring in a documentary called “Rookie on the Rise.” It’s just his second season in the league and he has taken the league by storm, averaging 22.1 points, on 43.4% shooting, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images