Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell makes crucial offseason decision

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz go-getter Donovan Mitchell has put his gold-medal dreams on hold.

From mid-April through the squad’s first outing in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was out of action with a bum right ankle.

And although the No. 1 seed Jazzmen ultimately saw their season collapse 10 outings later via a Game 6 road loss to the No. 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, the two-time All-Star arguably deserved the least amount of blame.

After all, Mitchell was clearly still hobbling, especially toward the end of Utah’s postseason run, yet the 6-foot-1, 215-pound potent playmaker managed to produce between 21 and 45 points in each of his playoff appearances this go-round.

Utah Jazz franchise player both deserving and needing of a long break

No, it probably wouldn’t be the smartest of ideas if the 24-year-old Donovan Mitchell was to play for Team USA in the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics, especially considering this offseason will be about a month shorter than the franchise’s average.

Fortunately — at least for the Utah Jazz — Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed on Monday that the New York native will instead remain at home to ensure his ankle fully heals without further setbacks.

A tough decision by Mitchell, for sure. A wise move, nonetheless.

Team USA did extend an invite to the fourth-year pro out of Louisville, which makes sense given his all-in efforts during the 2019 World Cup.

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Before the ankle sprain, Donovan Mitchell was on the floor in 53 contests for the Jazz, setting career-high averages with his 26.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game. Plus, as has been the case in each of his NBA campaigns since his rookie year, the likely future Olympian improved in both his makes beyond the arc per game (3.4) and season 3-point percentage (38.6).