NBA

The Utah Jazz Boldly Cemented Their Long-Term Future With Donovan Mitchell

Over the last few seasons, the Utah Jazz have become a playoff constant in the stacked Western Conference. Star guard Donovan Mitchell is a massive part of that success that has put a bright future ahead of the franchise. The Jazz are well aware of that and have committed to a historic move to keep Mitchell around for years to come.

Donovan Mitchell’s rise to stardom

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Since entering the league as the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Donovan Mitchell has had a steady rise to stardom.

Mitchell has become an elite scoring talent that quickly earned the respect of many of the game’s top players. He has averaged north of 20 points in each of his first three seasons while helping guide the Jazz to a playoff appearance in each campaign.

He took another step forward last season with career highs across the board, averaging 24.0 points and 4.3 assists while shooting 44.9% from the floor and 36.6% from 3-point range. All that earned him his first All-Star Game selection. He stepped it up in the 2020 playoffs, averaging 36.3 points per game on 52.9% shooting from the floor and 51.6% from beyond the arc in the first-round series against the Denver Nuggets.

Mitchell’s bright future ahead has also helped him receive a much-deserved pay raise.

Jazz, Donovan Mitchell agree to lucrative extension

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Amid all the significant moves around the league in the offseason, the Utah Jazz have some important situations to address.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the franchise quickly took care of one of their pressing matters by agreeing to a max five-year, $195 million extension with All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. 

The deal avoids any lingering questions about Mitchell’s long-term future. He was in the final year of his four-year, $14.5 million rookie deal. Mitchell could have hit the free-agent market next offseason, where he would draw plenty of interest around the league. 

The new contract gives him a much-deserved pay raise while securing his long-term future in Utah. Wojnarowski also reported that $163 million of the new deal is guaranteed, while the rest is incentive-laden. 

Mitchell is the centerpiece to the Jazz’s future that can guide the franchise many more playoff appearances ahead with the hopes of an NBA title run. With the former Louisville product under contract for the next several seasons, it allows the front office to stabilize other aspects of the roster for the long haul.

Is Rudy Gobert’s extension next?

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Over the last few seasons, the Jazz have become a playoff constant in the stacked Western Conference under head coach Quin Snyder.

Much of which has seen them excel with a promising young core group led by star guard Donovan Mitchell. Another significant part of the puzzle is All-Star big man Rudy Gobert. The 28-year-old has developed into a premier center behind his elite defensive ability and production in the paint offensively.

Gobert is in the final year of his four-year, $102 million deal that pays him $25.7 million. He is eligible for the supermax contract this offseason, but it’s hard to envision that the Jazz will make that commitment. Gobert could hold off on a new deal and enter the expected stacked free-agent market next offseason.

The Jazz haven’t addressed the plans for the French big man, but the new deal for Mitchell could signal he is next in line for an extension. The conversation will depend on how much the Jazz are willing to commit to Gobert as free agency next July is in his back pocket. Utah does hold the benefit of having his Bird Rights, which allows them to go over the salary-cap threshold to ink a new deal.

These next couple of weeks will be a crucial indicator of where things stand between the two sides for the long haul.