As the regular season nears its conclusion, the Utah Jazz look poised to take the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. A big reason for that this year is due to the play of star Donovan Mitchell. When on the court, Mitchell has been sensational as he’s dazzled all season long for the Jazz. However, he’s missed a large chunk of recent games due to injury. And now, a $32 million decision is in the hands of the voters regarding Mitchell.
Via Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune, Donovan Mitchell’s new contract has one massive kicker.
“Mitchell’s contract is guaranteed for 5 years and $163 million — 25% of the Jazz’s salary cap. If he makes an All-NBA team, that contract would jump to $195.6 million — 30% of the Jazz’s salary cap. There’s no doubt that Mitchell has had an All-NBA caliber season. He’s played in 53 games, averaging 26.8 points per game on relatively reasonably shooting efficiency numbers: 43.8% from the field, a career-high 38.6% from three, and 84.5% from the free-throw line.” Andy Larsen, Salt Lake Tribune.
Two major questions loom large for voters in deciding whether or not Mitchell will make one of the three teams.
One, he’s been out for a month now and during a critical stage of the season as the Jazz have continued to stay atop the Western Conference in hopes of locking down the No. 1 seed. How much does that hurt Mitchell’s case, that he hasn’t been available for such an extended period of time.
Two, the number of guards that are in contention this year is insane. Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Trae Young. The list goes on and on. Did we forget to mention guys like LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Jaylen Brown and others are available to be voted upon in either the “forwards” or “guards” category? That limits the chances even more for a dude like Donovan Mitchell.
It’s certainly a weird dynamic, the fact that $32 million can either be had or not for the Jazz’ star guard but the decision rests in the hands of voters. The answer will come soon enough.