Utah Jazz: Lottery pick locks up Donovan Mitchell in pickup

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

An NBA newbie gave Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell a difficult summer test.

Toronto Raptors rookie forward Scottie Barnes, who came off the board No. 4 overall at the 2021 NBA Draft following his one-and-done stay at Florida State, has the potential to become a legendary on-ball defender in the league. As of this week, fifth-year Utah Jazz guard and former low lottery pick Donovan Mitchell should be able to attest to that.

On one play during some pickup action that featured a host of high-profile NBA players, the 20-year-old Barnes stopped the 25-year-old Mitchell dead in his tracks.

Judging from the clip below, Mitchell appeared quite determined to finish off his team’s possession with a heavy peppering of his patented shake-and-bake handles. But Barnes was having none of that:


Then Barnes forced Mitchell into an ensuing give-and-go 3-point heave — a fadeaway airball.

Here are the full highlights from the scrimmage run, including another projected Jazz starter in Royce O’Neale, courtesy of HoopDiamonds:

Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell eyeing All-NBA status

Last season, despite his second consecutive All-Star appearance, Donovan Mitchell missed out on millions in his contract as he somehow fell short of what would have been his first All-NBA nod (not counting 2017-18 All-Rookie honors).

ALSO READ: Donovan Mitchell seems to set a season mantra for the Jazz

Nevertheless, Mitchell is coming off a campaign where he averaged a career-high 26.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds for a Utah squad that finished atop the standings with a 52-20 regular-season record. One would think that even a slight improvement on those stats and that record should be worthy of at least a Third Team selection.

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Training camp starts on Sept. 28. And the 2021-22 Jazz show tips off in Salt Lake City on Oct. 20 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.