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Report: Donovan Mitchell signing max contract extension with Jazz

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell

Orlando, FL - AUGUST 17: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball against the Denver Nuggets during Round One, Game One of the NBA Playoffs on August 17, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at The Field House. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, amid a sophomore slump that followed a magnificent rookie year, said he was uncomfortable no longer being the underdog. Mitchell powered right through, becoming an All-Star last season and going on a historic scoring binge in the playoffs.

Good thing Mitchell has adjusted to elevated expectations.

Because they’re climbing even higher as he becomes a max player.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Bobby Marks of ESPN:

The exact amount of Mitchell’s extension won’t be determined until the salary cap is set next year, when the extension kicks in. The extension projects to be worth $163 million and would reach a $196 million projection only if Mitchell triggers the super-max.

He would do so by making an All-NBA team, winning MVP or winning Defensive Player of the Year next season. Which of those honors would qualify was a matter of negotiation between Mitchell and Utah.

Mitchell finished 10th among guards in All-NBA voting last season, falling short of the six All-NBA guard slots. As the 24-year-old enters his prime, he definitely could make an All-NBA team next year. It’s also possible making one would lift his salary above his production.

But that’s a risk worth taking for Utah (though the player option presents additional potential complications).

Mitchell is a dynamic offensive creator on a defensive-focused team. He can get to the rim, shoot from beyond the arc and find open teammates. Plus, he defends better than many other high-scoring guards. Without him, the Jazz’s system stagnates. His intangibles – joyous attitude, committed work ethic, focused competitiveness – provide even more value.

There had been some question about Mitchell’s future with Utah due to a rift that emerged between him and Rudy Gobert following their coronavirus diagnoses. But Mitchell and Gobert appeared to get on a better page in the bubble.

Besides, Mitchell is the franchise player and priority. Young players just don’t reject max extensions, either.

Gobert is eligible for his own super-max extension this offseason. He already met the criteria. Though he probably won’t get the maximum-allowable amount, Utah could still extend him and keep both its stars for the long haul.