Donovan Mitchell will be a member of the Utah Jazz for the foreseeable future. Mitchell agreed to a five-year, $195 million designated rookie max extension with the Jazz, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal is guaranteed for $163 million, and could increase all the way up to the $195 million mark if Mitchell meets the All-NBA criteria next season.
Mitchell is coming off an epic performance in the first round of the 2020 playoffs against the Denver Nuggets in the Orlando bubble. He averaged 36.3 points across the seven-game series and became just the third player in NBA history -- along with Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson -- to have two 50-point performances in the same series (a feat that occurred a fourth time after it was matched a few days later by the Nuggets' Jamal Murray). Ultimately, though, Mitchell's otherworldly output wasn't enough to lift the Jazz over the Nuggets in the series, but it certainly left an indelible impression on all who watched.
Mitchell has established himself as one of the league's best young players, and someone the Jazz clearly plan to build around. They selected him with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and he has only continued to improve since. His average points per game, rebounds and assists have gone up in each of his first three seasons, and he was named to his first All-Star team in 2020. His shooting percentages from the the floor, the foul line and from long range have also improved. At just 24 years old, Mitchell is still several years away from reaching his peak as a player, which should be a scary thought for the rest of the league. After the Jazz were eliminated by the Nuggets, Mitchell told media members that he was just "scratching the surface" as a player.
"This isn't the last of it. This is me scratching the surface," Mitchell said, via ESPN. "I know what I can do, how hard I've worked, how hard this team has worked. This won't be the end of it. That's what's fueling me. This ain't the end. This is just the beginning. I'm ready to go hoop again right now. I think we all are. This is just the beginning."
Although Mitchell is well aware that he still has a lot of work to do as he continues to climb to the top of the league's elite, he's also unafraid to acknowledge the fact that he's already taken major steps in the direction that he wants to head in.
"For myself ... I can't lie to you, I was surprised by certain little things that I've done and accomplished," Mitchell said. "But it's nothing I haven't worked on. There were criticisms of what I could do on the offensive and defensive end, and I feel like I've taken a step in the right direction."
After two consecutive first-round exits, it's clear that the Jazz will need to continue to tweak their roster in order to ensure that they're a perennial contender in an extremely competitive Western Conference. Locking Mitchell up long-term is a great start, though, as just having him in the lineup gives the Jazz plenty of reason for optimism moving forward.