NBA

Spida Mitchell, Future Scoring Champ

Donovan Mitchell is now averaging 23.6 points per game, just ahead of Kyrie Irving for 17th in the league in scoring. None of the top 25 scorers are as inexperienced as the Jazz’s rising star. Just exactly how big of a steal was Donovan Mitchell when the Jazz snagged him 13th overall in last year’s deep draft class?

Here is how Mitchell compares to the 12 players taken before him:

Mitchell has played in 143 games in the last almost two seasons. He has scored 20 or more points in 92 of those games. He has also scored 30 or more 20 times. Here’s how many 30-point games the 12 players taken in front of him have.

  • Markelle Fultz-0
  • Lonzo Ball-0
  • Jayson Tatum-1
  • Josh Jackson-1
  • De’Aaron Fox-3
  • Jonathan Isaac-0
  • Lauri Markkannen-9
  • Frank Ntilikina-0
  • Dennis Smith Jr.-1
  • Zach Collins-0
  • Malik Monk-0
  • Luke Kennard-0
  • Donovan Mitchell-20

That’s right Donovan Mitchell has more 30-point games than the 12 players taken before him combined! Fultz, Ntilikina, and Collins have never topped 20 points in a game. Tell me Mark Cuban wouldn’t love to redo that draft choice and have a Mitchell-Luka backcourt. Do you think the Sixers would have enjoyed a Simmons, Mitchell, Embiid, Butler, Reddick lineup? Or would the Suns have enjoyed pairing Mitchell with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton? How about a big three in Detroit of Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and Donovan Mitchell? Don’t you think Magic would love to have Mitchell playing off Lebron and Kuzma? If we redrafted last year’s class could you justify taking anyone but Mitchell number one overall? Who would you take?

Not only does Mitchell compare favorably to his draft class, but when you look at the current top 20 scorers in the NBA, only Kevin Durant (25.3), Lebron James (27.2), and Karl-Anthony Towns (25.1) averaged more than Mitchell’s current 23.6 points per game in their second season. Let me say that again in a different way. Of all of the NBA’s best scorers, Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo, none of them averaged as many as Mitchell in their second season. Typically, it takes scoring guards time to adjust to the NBA game, but Mitchell seems to have cracked the code faster than most. In fact, the way Mitchell has picked up his pace (averaging 29.0 per game over his last 11 games), he has a chance to catch Dwyane Wade as the top-scoring second year guard in the past 20 years. Wade averaged 24.1 per game on a slightly lower effective Field Goal percentage than Mitchell.

The NBA needs to take note that the Jazz have landed a special scorer, who on his current trajectory, looks like a future scoring champ.

One thought on “Spida Mitchell, Future Scoring Champ

  1. Remember last season when Donovan Mitchell would get that “look” in his eye? Remember when he would going on crazy scoring runs and put the Jazz on his back? Well, if you don’t remember (first of all, I’m sorry because those are great memories), Mitchell has gotten back to his ways of taking games over lately. More so than at any other point in this season, it looks like Mitchell finally has his mojo back, and last night was a prime example. Despite a slow start, both for the Jazz and for Mitchell, Spida scored a pretty efficient 33 points as they climbed out of a giant hole and got a victory at home.

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