Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell trails only Steph Curry from deep

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Utah Jazz franchise weapon has an underappreciated long-three launcher.

For whatever reason, one common misconception among outside fanbases — even some Utah Jazz enthusiasts fall into this category — is that Donovan Mitchell heaves far too many prayers from extreme distances.

Nope. In truth, the most recent stats suggest that the two-time All-Star is one of the NBA’s premier snipers from out near the logo.

As ClutchPoints pointed out this week in a tweet paying tribute to the top “deep-range marksmen” in the league, Mitchell ranked No. 2 overall last season in shooting percentage beyond 27 feet. Here are the five best gunners from that range:

  1. Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry: 42.6 percent
  2. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell: 39.8 percent
  3. Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine: 38.6 percent
  4. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard: 37.4 percent
  5. Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet: 36.6 percent

Interestingly, Mitchell and Curry are the only two fellas on that list whose precision from 27-plus feet was better than their overall 3-point percentage.

Mitchell, who has never finished outside the NBA’s top 20 in total 3-point makes across his four pro campaigns yet never inside the top 10 either, shot 38.6 percent beyond the arc during the 2020-21 regular season. Meanwhile, Curry wound up No. 1 in 3-point splashes for the seventh time in 12 years and did so while knocking down 42.1 percent of his attempts.

Will the Utah Jazz showman become the NBA’s next supreme long-range weapon?

True, Donovan Mitchell still has a ways to go before surpassing the 33-year-old Steph Curry in any 3-ball department. But there was evidence earlier this month that says the 25-year-old is spending a chunk of the offseason focusing on this particular aspect of his offensive repertoire, especially with sights on the insane distances.

ALSO READ: A taste of what’s to come from Donovan Mitchell

Now, considering that observation while factoring in all of the above shooting numbers, one could easily make the argument that the 25-year-old Utah treasure has a better chance than anyone else in the league right now to someday clone Curry’s prowess from ridiculously deep.

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Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz, who set an NBA record last go-round with 16.7 makes from downtown per game, will begin their 2021-22 journey on Oct. 20 at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.