The Utah Jazz have clinched the playoffs and done so with a rookie leading them in scoring, none other than the 13th overall pick, Donovan Mitchell.
The former Louisville three-and-D prospect has shown star potential this season, but to some, his ceiling is as high as some of the best in the business.
Fellow rookie Josh Hart of the Los Angeles Lakers went as far as to say he belongs in the same category as stars like LeBron James and James Harden.
“Don is very crafty. I think that’s the biggest thing with him. You don’t realize how crafty he is,” Hart explained, according to Harrison Faigen of Lakers Nation. “He’s a top offensive talent in the league. He’s proven that. He’s had 40-point games, he’s the leading scorer of a playoff team, and for a lot of the year carried a playoff team in his rookie year.
“Judging him on his body of work this season, he definitely (belongs in the same conversation as Harden and James). And he has the potential to be a great player in the league.”
Mitchell’s ceiling is indeed high, with his propensity to turn the ball over and questionable shot selection being some of the minor aspects to polish over the offseason.
At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and armed with a spider-like 7-foot wingspan, the rookie has proved to be the real deal at both ends, fueling the Jazz to a second straight postseason berth, coming back from the dead after Rudy Gobert went down to injury.
Mitchell has proven to be a consistent and reliable No. 1 option on offense, putting up 20 or more points in 11 of its last 12 games, having only 19 in a rout over the L.A. Clippers on Thursday.