Who had the better Jazz career, Donovan Mitchell or Gordon Hayward?

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz, Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz, Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz have had plenty of stars walk in and out of the organization’s doors. While not all Jazz stars have finished their careers in Salt Lake City, quite a few have had pretty impressive stints.

That being said, these thoughts pose a question. With two stars walking away from the Jazz in recent years, who had the better tenure in Utah? Donovan Mitchell or Gordon Hayward?

Who had the better Jazz career, Mitchell or Hayward?

Gordon Hayward entered the league as a young wing who had a lot to learn and needed time to develop. It took Hayward three plus years to fully start to blossom, but in 2016, the Butler star finally took the leap Jazz fans were awaiting.

The former lottery pick averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. The 6-foot-7 forward not only showed his ability to be a team’s top scoring option, but he also showcased his playmaking ability. Hayward would find himself named a Western Conference All-Star for the first time in his career.

Unfortunately for Jazz fans, Hayward would leave Utah in free agency that summer to reunite with his former college coach, Brad Stevens, in Boston. An end to an era in Utah. Hayward finished his time in Salt Lake City averaging 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game through 516 games with the Jazz.

As for Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz selected the star guard with the 13th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Louisville product made an immediate impact as a rookie, averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists throughout his first-year campaign. A sign of what was to come.

Despite multiple seasons competing in the postseason, even one as the No. 1 seed in the West, Mitchell and the Jazz ultimately fell short of their championship aspirations. New Jazz CEO Danny Ainge took the reins in the Jazz’s front office and determined it was time to shake things up. The All-Star guard would soon be shipped to Cleveland in a blockbuster trade, bringing a new star in Lauri Markkanen and an abundance of future assets to Utah.

Mitchell finished his time in Utah averaging 23.9 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in 345 games with the Jazz.

Despite neither player bringing a championship back to Utah, both gave it their all while wearing Jazz gear. Nonetheless, both players left the franchise in different ways. Some could argue Hayward left more of an impact, yet he also left the organization voluntarily. Mitchell may not have gelled the best with Jazz culture, but the star was traded away.

With both men in a different chapter of their careers, looking back and reflecting on their time in Utah, who had the better Jazz career?