It’s offseason in the NBA, which means it’s time for stars to recruit fellow stars to join their teams.
And Utah Jazz rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell has one guy on top of his wish list: Paul George.
“I’m making [my pitch to Paul George] right now,” Mitchell said in a press conference in BGC for the Manila leg of his adidas tour.
Indeed, he didn’t waste any time explaining what’s in store for George if he bolsters the young Jazz core with his presence.
It is largely believed that the Oklahoma City star has his sights set on going home to Los Angeles with the Lakers, but the 21-year-old-rookie said that joining them has a lot of perks that could offset problems George may encounter elsewhere.
“We want to win. We are not selfish. I’m not the type of guy whose gonna say ‘it’s my team’. I’m a second-year player, he is an All-Star. If he comes in, he’s gonna make life a lot easier offensively. He’s a great defender. We have guys who want to play with him,” Mitchell added.
It’s not just about having welcoming teammates, too. Mitchell said that George would also be playing with one of the brightest minds in basketball today and with a defensive presence that could complement his already-vaunted defense well.
“We have talent, we have an incredible crowd that sells out every night. Our coach (Quin Snyder) is probably the Coach of the Year. We have a Defensive Player of the Year [candidate in Rudy Gobert.] We have a bunch of guys who work hard and put in the work.
It also wouldn’t matter if Utah isn’t a huge market.
“Salt Lake City is a beautiful place. People don’t give it enough credit. I’m from New York, and I’m saying that it’s a really beautiful place,” Mitchell said.
George is coming off a productive season with the Thunder. In 79 games, he averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists on 43-40-82 shooting splits.
He also normed a career-high 2.04 steals per contest, good for second in the league behind Victor Oladipo.