The Utah Jazz and star guard Donovan Mitchell reportedly aren’t looking to waste any time in their expected upcoming contract negotiations. According to Yahoo Sports‘ Chris Haynes, both parties are hoping to finalize an agreement on what will likely be a maximum money extension as soon as free agency opens following the current NBA season.
Mitchell and the Jazz were eliminated in seven games by the Western Conference’s No. 3-seeded team — the Denver Nuggets — on Tuesday when a game-winning attempt to beat the buzzer by point guard Mike Conley rolled in and out of the rim. As a result, Utah became just the 12th team in league history to lose a playoff series after owning a three games-to-one advantage.
Nevertheless, the talented combo guard, who will turn 24 years old next week, appears to be committed to staying with the club long-term and coming back strong next season.
“I’m going to get right back to work,” an emotional Mitchell told Yahoo. “I’m not done. The Utah Jazz aren’t done.”
As relayed by Haynes on Wednesday, Mitchell’s rookie max extension would be valued at about $170 million over five seasons. While his statements following Game 7 do seem to indicate a strong desire to succeed in Salt Lake City with the Jazz, the former No. 13 overall pick likely stands to make significantly more money by inking a max extension in Utah than he would by playing out the final year of his rookie-scale deal and then signing elsewhere.
Still, Mitchell’s relationship with teammate and fellow All-Star Rudy Gobert had given some fans reason to be concerned about him potentially considering a move to another franchise.
The Inquisitr and multiple outlets have previously reported on the duo’s seemingly fractured relationship in the wake of Gobert becoming the first NBA player to test positive for the novel coronavirus in March. Upon receiving word of the Frenchman’s test result, the league quickly moved to suspend its campaign. Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that Mitchell had also tested positive.
With Gobert having openly downplayed the virus just days before, Mitchell was said to have become frustrated with his teammate, with some believing the relationship between the two was beyond repair.
However, they were said to be on good terms heading into the NBA’s Orlando, Florida bubble restart. After his club’s Game 7 loss to the Nuggets, Mitchell said he would “go to war with any one of these guys in the locker room,” via The Salt Lake Tribune.
In 69 games this season, Mitchell averaged 24 points, four rebounds and four assists per contest, while shooting 37 percent from three-point range. Against Denver, he upped his output to 36.3 points per game and boasted an effective field goal percentage of 63.4.