Exclusive – Donovan Mitchell Says Team USA Can Help With His Leadership This Upcoming Season

Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Exclusive – Donovan Mitchell Says Team USA Can Help With His Leadership This Upcoming Season


It is an exciting time in Utah, as the Jazz have put together a fantastic offseason in the hopes of contending for a title in what feels like the most open championship race in recent memory.

Bowing out in the first round of the Western Conference last campaign, the Jazz are looking to take the next steps with the additions they’ve brought in this off season. The front office has been impressive in their acquisitions, as they’ve welcomed the likes of Mike Conley, Jeff Green, Bojan Bogdanovic and Emmanuel Mudiay to bolster the roster. These moves were necessary, but even with the added talent, they will of course still be led by young stud Donovan Mitchell, who continues to display the type of production and qualities that can take the Jazz to the very top of the NBA mountain.

Despite being just 22 years old, Mitchell carries a heavier burden than most in the league, as he has to be the leading scorer and main guy for a Jazz team in the middle of a treacherous Western Conference slugfest. In seasons past, it seemed as though Mitchell was by himself on the offensive end trying to create and score everything for the franchise, but with the new faces joining the locker room this summer, the load on his young shoulders may be lifted ever so slightly.

The biggest compliment to Mitchell has been veteran guard Mike Conley joining the organization after 12 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies. Not only does Conley help the Jazz on the offensive end, he also comes with a plethora of playoff experience and can be a solid defensive partner in the back court next to Mitchell. The 31 year old averaged a solid 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, and his steady playing style along with his ability in the pick and roll should see the Jazz back court emerge as one of the very best in the entire league. Conley can also help Mitchell with his veteran leadership, as he can mentor the dynamic scorer in areas in which he’s been criticized during the early parts of his career.

Mitchell is currently in Melbourne, Australia with Team USA preparing for the upcoming FIBA World Cup with two exhibition games against the Australian National Team before heading to China. With so many big names dropping out and withdrawing from the roster, the leadership and responsibly has fallen onto players such as Mitchell to continue to winning culture moving forward.

After day one of practice in Melbourne, Mitchell spoke with Open Court about how this Team USA experience can help him with leading his Jazz franchise for this upcoming campaign.


“I think it helped me in a lot of ways. For me, just coming in and finding ways to learn from guys. Guys who’ve been in the league longer than me. Obviously learned a lot from coach Pop, coach Kerr [the audio is off on that part] and the coaching staff. I think I can take a lot of things, by asking a lot of questions and just listening and that’s what I’ve been doing.”



Mitchell’s focus right now is solely on trying to capture his first international gold medal for his country, but in doing so, the process is steadily building all the ingredients the Jazz will require this season if they hope to realistically compete for the ultimate NBA prize.

They Jazz may have brought in the right pieces, however they will still go as far as their young star will take them.

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