Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell has given Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander some high praise. Mitchell suggested that Gilgeous-Alexander has more weapons as a scorer than even Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic or Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant.
Donovan Mitchell told Theo Pinson on the “Run Your Race” podcast that Doncic has a “deeper bag” than Durant. When asked to pick between Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander, Mitchell gave the nod to the Thunder star.
“I gotta go Shai,” Mitchell told Pinson, noting that it was a difficult question.
Theo Pinson: “Deeper bag, Kevin Durant or Luka Doncic?”
Donovan Mitchell: “I think Luka. KD’s 7 feet, he don’t need a bag.”
Pinson: “What about Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] or Luka?”
Mitchell: “I gotta go Shai.”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 3, 2023
Pinson said that he would give the edge to Doncic over both Durant and Gilgeous-Alexander because of his low-post game. Mitchell acknowledged that Pinson made a strong point, but he marveled that Gilgeous-Alexander is such a great scorer without doing much damage from 3-point range.
“Shai got counters upon counters,” Mitchell said.
Doncic finished second in scoring for the 2022-2023 NBA season, averaging 32.4 points per game on 49.6% field-goal shooting. Gilgeous-Alexander's 31.4 points per game were good for fourth in the NBA. He made 51% of his field-goal attempts and took just 20.3 shots per game. Doncic needed 22.0 field goal attempts per contest to reach his scoring average.
Durant's 29.1 points per game ranked seventh in the league. Philadelphia 76ers center and 2023 NBA MVP Joel Embiid won the scoring title with 33.1 points per game.
Of the league's top-15 scorers, only Gilgeous-Alexander and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged fewer than one made 3-pointer per game. Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 13 points per game on shots within 10 feet of the basket. Only Embiid averaged more than Gilgeous-Alexander's 9.8 made free throws per game.
Gilgeous-Alexander became a superstar this past season, increasing his scoring average by 6.9 points per game. He finished fifth in the 2023 MVP voting and led the Thunder to the second round of the NBA Play-in Tournament.