Since being selected as the No. 13 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell has managed to turn himself into one of the fastest rising superstars in the league. With his impressive performance on both ends of the floor and natural leadership skills, it’s not surprising that he became the face of the franchise. However, in the first three years that he spent in Utah, their greatest achievement was reaching the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
Since they haven’t been able to contend for a championship title, rumors have started to circulate around the All-Star shooting guard and his future with the team. In a recent episode of ESPN’s First Take — a clip of which is currently posted on Twitter and can be seen here — former NBA champion and analyst Kendrick Perkins discussed whether Mitchell needs the Jazz to win a championship title or not. If he was the one making the decision, Perkins believes that Mitchell is better off staying in Utah.
“He better sit still and keep a cool booty. Donovan Mitchell is in a great situation in Utah. He has the right pieces around him. The Utah Jazz has done a great job as an organization in putting this guy in a position to be successful,” Perkins said, as quoted by Joe Coles of Deseret News.
The Jazz may not currently be viewed on the same level as Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, but Perkins recognizes the team’s effort to surround Mitchell with quality players.
“When you talk about a guy like Rudy Gobert, who’s a top-three center in the league, when you look at Joe Ingles, who’s one of my favorite players in the NBA. When they added (Bojan) Bogdanovic this offseason from the Pacers, that’s a big pickup,” Perkins said.
However, like other team’s front offices, the Jazz aren’t perfect when it comes to adding teammates whom they believe could help Mitchell bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Salt Lake City. Perkins specifically mentioned veteran point guard Mike Conley as one of the players the Jazz added that failed to live up to expectations. When they acquired him from the Memphis Grizzlies last summer, Conley was expected to ease the load on Mitchell’s shoulders in terms of playmaking and scoring.
Unfortunately, as Perkins noted, the veteran athlete has been “kind of terrible” in the 2019-20 season and still hasn’t found his niche. If he doesn’t show a massive improvement with his game in the upcoming Playoffs, there’s a strong chance that the Jazz will consider using his expiring contract as a trade chip to give Mitchell a better and more competitive supporting cast next year.