CRAWFORD | Mitchell signs contract with Utah, sparks buzz with S - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Mitchell signs contract with Utah, sparks buzz with Summer League start

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Utah's Donovan Mitchell follows his own shot with a put-back in NBA Summer League play. (NBA screen shot) Utah's Donovan Mitchell follows his own shot with a put-back in NBA Summer League play. (NBA screen shot)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Two summer league games is not a body of work to get excited about. It’s not even the beginning of a body of work to get excited about.

But people are excited anyway about Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell.

For those of us who know a little something about former University of Louisville standout, his start for the Jazz in summer league play is not all that surprising.

He dropped 23 points with five assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds in his NBA summer debut earlier this week – making 3 of 6 from three-point range and doing a little bit of everything in 25 minutes. On Wednesday night, shortly after signing his contract with the Jazz, he finished with 15 points and a couple of highlight-reel plays, including a floating 15-foot jumper that extended Utah's lead from one point to three in the final minute.

COLUMN: Eric Crawford with a closer look at Donovan Mitchell

He’s quickly become a fan favorite in Salt Lake City, whether by his activity on social media or his style on the court, and has given fans still smarting from the departure of Gordon Hayward for Boston something to look forward to.

The team doesn’t release contract terms, but the slot for the No. 13 pick is worth just over $4.7 million over two years with an option year at $3.03 million.

After Mitchell’s performance Wednesday night, ESPN’s Dick Vitale Tweeted an analysis you’ve heard quite a bit about Mitchell over the past several days: "The @utahjazz struck gold with @spidadmitchell as he is an explosive young athletic talent with good hoop skills."
 

And if nothing else, Jazz fans are looking forward to some of the flair Mitchell will bring to the court, as he showed in a dunk off a back-door pass in the second half of Wednesday night's game.
 



What should really go over well in Salt Lake, however, is Mitchell’s professionalism, his work ethic, and the way he interacts and deals with people. He’s a quality person, enthusiastic about what he’s doing, friendly with the public, and in general the kind of guy you want representing your team or organization.

At least, that's how this guy felt . . . 
 



He wasn’t on anyone’s list as a lottery pick when he arrived at U of L as a freshman. The work he did in two years in Louisville could just be a start. And in Utah, he’s hooked up with a good organization that will allow him to develop at his own pace.

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