MANILA, Philippines – Donovan Mitchell is planning to make the Western Conference even tougher than it already is.
The 21-year-old rookie star of the Utah Jazz – who’s in Manila for the first time – made his recruitment pitch to incoming free agents LeBron James and Paul George in a special press conference at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig on Sunday, June 17.
“I’ll make [my pitch] to Paul George right now,” said Mitchell. “We want to win, we’re not selfish. If he comes in, it’s gonna make life a lot easier on the offensive end. He’s also a great defender.”
“We have talent, we have a crowd that sells out every night,” he continued. “Our coach [Quin Snyder] is probably the Coach of the Year and we have [a] Defensive Player of the Year [candidate in Rudy Gobert].”
Donovan, though, had a way simpler response on whether he also wants to bring LeBron James on board with the Jazz.
“Would I want to [play with him]? Who wouldn’t?” he said.
But he also made it clear that the challenge of facing against the 4-time MVP feels better than playing with him.
“If I had a choice on playing [with] him or beating him, I’d rather beat him,” said the reigning NBA Slam Dunk champion. “But if he wants to play with the Jazz, then we’ll take him of course.”
Despite only being 21 years old, Mitchell can be a legitimate “Big 3” piece along with Rudy Gobert if either George or James tags along.
In 79 appearances for the Jazz, Mitchell averaged 20.5 points per game along with 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. In the playoffs, he further cranked up his scoring average to 24.4 a night as his team delivered a 6-game series upset against George and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Mitchell is in the country to promote his shoe brand adidas and meet and play with some lucky Pinoy fans. – Rappler.com