Following a 44-28 campaign and a near-miss in the NBA playoffs against the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz appear destined to continue their pursuit of a championship with much of the same core intact. As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the franchise and its cornerstone player, Donovan Mitchell, have come to terms on a max designated rookie extension.
As a result, Mitchell is now committed to the Jazz for an additional five years beyond his rookie-scale deal, through the 2025-26 season. During that time, he’ll make no less than $163 million and could potentially pocket as much as $195 million in the event that he earns All-NBA selections in the future.
While no official announcement has been made by the team as of this writing, Mitchell’s agents — Ty Sullivan and Austin Brown of CAA Sports — confirmed the news to Wojnarowski on Sunday.
Despite entering the league as a late lottery pick after falling to No. 13 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, Mitchell quickly became one of the best young players in the professional game. As a rookie, he was Utah’s leading scorer and the key cog for a team that won 48 games during the regular season before upsetting the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of postseason play.
Consequently, he finished second to Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Following his surprising rookie-year breakout, Mitchell continued to evolve in years two and three. As tracked by Basketball-Reference, he averaged a career-best 24 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest during the 2019-20 campaign. He also made nearly 37 percent of his seven three-point attempts per game.
As good as he was during the regular season, though, the 24-year-old elevated his game to a new level in the playoffs. As noted by Wojnarowski, he became just the third person ever after Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson to have two 50-plus-point games in a series.
With the Jazz opening free agency by re-signing sixth man Jordan Clarkson to a long-term deal, as well as reacquiring big man Derrick Favors, the team will turn its attention to an extension for Rudy Gobert.
Although the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year — who joined Mitchell as a first-time All-Star in 2020 — is eligible for the designated veteran player or “supermax” extension, Utah’s suddenly cramped salary situation may preclude it from offering Gobert the largest allowable sum.
Earlier in the offseason, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes offered the unique take that the Jazz should actually look to trade Gobert in an effort to unlock Mitchell’s full potential as a budding superstar.