Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell says he plans to recruit All-Star Paul George in free agency
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13), Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7), and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) embrace and talk to Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) after the Utah Jazz lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City, Saturday December 23, 2017.
Throughout the season, the biggest stars in the NBA seemed to seek out Donovan Mitchell at the end of games. The Utah Jazz’s star rookie doesn’t see why that should change this summer.
“I was the lead recruiter at Louisville. I think I signed four or five guys before I left,” Mitchell said on the Woj Pod. “I think I can recruit some guys. Coach (Rick Pitino) and coach Kenny Johnson taught me some things.”
The Jazz front office could potentially clear enough cap space to make a major free agent acquisition this summer. The big name mentioned on the podcast: All-Star forward Paul George, with whom Mitchell has developed a friendship over the past year.
“He’s due. I think it’s July 1,” Mitchell said. “I’m definitely going to have that conversation.”
Between his own emergence, the defensive prowess of Rudy Gobert and the coaching acumen of Quin Snyder, Mitchell believes the Jazz have plenty to offer free agents.
“Why not play with us?” Mitchell said. “You look at how we move the ball. We play with guys who don’t care who scores the most, who rebounds the most. … We play with guys who genuinely want to win.”
Mitchell also highlighted the reputation for developing players that Snyder and his staff have earned.
“The first 10 games of the season and the last 10 games, I don’t even recognize myself,” he said.
Mitchell added, “You can only imagine what we’d be able to do if we had that one big piece. It would be great. If not, like I said, we trust our abilities to do well. But it would be great to have that one piece like you’re talking about.”