Report: Danny Ainge doesn’t believe Donovan Mitchell can be the face of a contending franchise

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

At the moment, it seems that the Utah Jazz could go either way when it comes to the future of guard Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell has been the face of the franchise for quite some time and helped lead the team to multiple playoff berths. While Mitchell has accomplished a fair amount in his young NBA career, Jazz executive Danny Ainge reportedly has some reservations when it comes to just how high his ceiling really is.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, there are whispers around the NBA that Ainge is not convinced Mitchell can be the best player on a championship-winning team.

“The whispers around the league are that Danny Ainge is not convinced that Donovan Mitchell can be the face of a contending franchise,” he said during a recent podcast appearance.

Mitchell is a talented and electric guard. Last season, he averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He helped lead the Jazz to another playoff berth. It was the fifth consecutive time he accomplished that goal.

However, just like in the previous four seasons, the Jazz’s playoff run fell short. The team lost in the first round of the playoffs.

In fact, Mitchell has never been able to lead the Jazz past the second round. It’s been tough sledding for a team that has now gained a reputation of being something of a paper tiger.

Earlier this offseason, the Jazz traded away big man Rudy Gobert for a slew of players and picks. That move has led many to wonder whether the team wants to blow it all up and start a rebuild.

Of course, such a move would likely require trading away Mitchell as well. While there have been lots of rumors swirling, a trade has yet to happen.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.