A Closer Look At Why Donovan Mitchell Won’t Ever Win MVP


Storming out of the gates late last season, Donovan Mitchell has made the most of his NBA opportunity in Salt Lake City. The Jazz were fresh off losing Gordon Hayward after he choose to leave for the Boston Celtics, but the heartbreak didn’t last long, as the new relationship between fans and the future superstar has blossomed in a short time.

Mitchell’s impact hasn’t only been on the court, though. Several occasions, as documented by fans on social media, show a side of Donovan Mitchell that is in love with a place that the majority of stars see as boring. He not only wants to help and give back to the community that took him in as their own, but it also looks like he doesn’t want to leave anytime soon. That, of course, has the possibility of changing, but few superstar Cinderella stories began the way that Mitchell’s has.

With a stellar rookie year now under his belt, the goal for the Jazz organization is clear — let Mitchell lead, but put enough help around him to where he’s not overwhelmed like we saw in the second round of the post-season against Houston. Despite riding a late regular season wave of massive momentum, it wasn’t enough when they were put to the test against a much more tested and talented Rockets team.

All of that aside, as we can’t do anything about the past, let’s consider for a second something that not many people have had cross their mind — could Donovan Mitchell one day win the league MVP award?

The short answer is no, but I’d like to explain why that’s the case.

If we were honest when talking about whether the league is really ready to put him on an elite status, the answer is also no. Part of it has to do with playing for a smaller market team in Utah, but another part of the problem is that there’s no clear path for him to stand out in an MVP race. He was able to be effective in his first season and that put him in a good place in terms of the Rookie of the Year conversation, but being the best player in the entire league would require a major shake up across the board, even for someone like him.

Not that moving mountains isn’t something he’s used to, but let’s be real, if it’s not LeBron James for MVP, there are a plethora of other athletes that people would want to win the award first, with Mitchell pretty far down that list. Players like Giannis Antetokounmpo or Ben Simmons might be more in the driver’s seat for the award in the future, but before they can even be in the conversation, players like James Harden, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, and Kawhi Leonard would have to all either be on the verge of irrelevance or having the worst year of their careers all at the same time.

This doesn’t take away from the accolades that Donovan Mitchell has already achieved — nobody can take away what he accomplished in year one. Add to his credit the fact that he did it with a smaller market team, which makes him all the more lovable. So while he continues to be the MVP of the state of Utah, there’s still a lot of work to be done if he wants to be crowned the NBA MVP.

But he’s done a heck of a job getting started off on the right foot, and nobody can deny him that.




About Keith Rivas

Keith is based In Salt Lake City and covers the Jazz for TLSM. Follow him on Twitter @mrkeithrivas for all things Utah Jazz.

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