Why Donovan Mitchell is a Top Five Shooting Guard
Donovan Vernell Mitchell Jr. was born Septmember 7, 1996 in Elmsford, New York. Ranked as a four star prospect in high school, Mitchell revived collegiate offers from Auburn, Florida, Boston College, Louisville, and more. Donovan ultimately choose to sign with the Louisville Cardinals on August 7th, 2014.
Mitchell played for the Cardinals from 2015-2017 and was integral part in them appearing in March Madness in the 2017-2017 season. In his sophomore season, he averaged around 16 points, 3 assists, and 5 rebound per game.
This impressive stat line didn't go unnoticed, as the Denver Nuggets selected him 13th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. A few minutes later, the Nuggets traded Mitchell to the Jazz for 24th pick Tyler Lydon and Trey Lyles.
Mitchell surprised many people during his rookie season, becoming the focal point of the Utah Jazz's offense with Gordon Hayward leaving for the Boston Celtics. After putting up around 21 points per game, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, he led the Jazz to a playoff berth.
After beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, they ultimately lost to the Golden State Warriors in five games. Mitchell's game did not go unrecognized, as he was a Rookie of the Year finalist, losing to winner Ben Simmons.
Donovan also had a great sophomore year in the league, making it to the playoffs, but losing to the Rockets and was a borderline all star this season.
Now with everything aside, lets get into why he is a top five shooting guard in the league.
In his two years in the league, Mitchell has risen as a young superstar and has a career stat line of 22.1 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game. Now, we shall compare his stats to his 2017 draft class. In this class, Mitchell ranks first in points per game, fourth in assists per game, and twelfth in rebounds per game. Out of the other shooting guards from his draft class, Mitchell ranks first in all of the categories that were discussed above.
Now, I ran a player comparison of the top shooting guards in the league, these being James Harden, Bradley Beal, Jrue Holiday, Klay Thompson, Devin Booker, and Donovan Mitchell of course. I choose not to do Victor Oladipo due to him being injured. Out of all these shooting guards, Mitchell ranks second in points per game, second in rebounds per game, and fourth in assists per game.
I found this very uprising as he is outscoring NBA Champion Klay Thompson and other young star Devin Booker. Mainly Booker because he is the first option on the Suns and Klay is the third option on the Warriors and had put up multiple fifty point games and even a seventy point game in his career.
Looking into the advanced stats, Mitchell has the highest USG rate with 30.4%, with James Harden coming in at 30.2%. I found this very surprising because it seems every time I watch the Rockets, Harden is on the court putting up bucket after bucket.
Looking into their per 36 stats, Mitchell ranks second in points per game, fourth in assists per game, and third in rebounds per game. He also ranks fifth for win shares out of all these shooting guards, mainly due to his young age.
Right now, I am comparing Donovan to Dwyane Wade. Call me bold, but Mitchell has everything that Wade had when he was young. Donovan's explosiveness, shooting, and leadership is exactly like Wade's. Wade was only 24 when he won the NBA Championship in 2006, maybe Mitchell can replicate what Wade has done at that age.
Plus, they are about the same height, only one inch apart. Mitchell shows no signs of slowing down at 22, similar to Wade all the way until LeBron left Miami. It's honestly insane how Mitchell replicates Wade's game so fluently, and could be a top all time shooting guard if he keeps it up!
Comparing Wade's 2005-2006 championship season to Mitchell's 2018-2019 season, both of their per 36 stats are nearly identical. Both averaged around 25.5 points per game, but Wade had about 80 more assists and 120 more blocks than Mitchell. Both also had a great defensive anchor on their respective team with Wade having Shaquille O'Neal, and Mitchell having Rudy Gobert.
Mitchell's play style screams hybrid point guard/shooting guard, which he could do if he wanted to. He is a lethal scorer from anywhere on the court, and can dunk and be explosive in the paint.
He is also a great play maker, as he was the main signal caller of the Jazz's offense before Mike Conley got traded to them during this off season.
Questions do arise if can take the next step on the defensive side of the ball, as he is more of an offensive presence. It will work out if he puts in the work this off season.
In total Mitchell has a score of 36/50, which is good for a young player like him. He can still improve himself and become a better all around player. Rebounding is the only one that is obvious because of his height, he cannot get many boards. The only guards who can put up good redounding numbers are James Harden and Russell Westbrook!
Overall, this is why Donovan Mitchell is a top five shooting guard in the NBA. Thank you for reading and happy hubbing!
Comment below who I should do next!
© 2019 Mikey Karlovsky