NBA Rookie of the Year Watch: Mitchell brings strength to Utah’s offense

Joel Devick

Sports Blogger



Donovan Mitchell, SG, Utah Jazz, 19.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.4 apg

Michael Tipton/Flickr

At about the midpoint of this season, Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell is leading an impressive pack of rookies. Mitchell is proving to be a steal for Utah. The Jazz acquired him with the 13th pick in the draft this past June. Since then, Mitchell has impressed with thunderous dunks and multiple 30-plus scoring performances, turning him into a star in the making.

Ben Simmons, PG, Philadelphia 76ers, 16.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 7.4 apg

Ben Simmons and Mitchell will probably go back and forth all season long for Rookie of the Year leader. Simmons has been impressive in all aspects of his game but hasn’t quite been the playmaker and scorer that Mitchell has this year. Regardless, his stats are nothing to scoff at. This Aussie has lived up to his strong hype so far this season.

Lauri Markkanen, PF, Chicago Bulls, 15.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.4 apg

Aside from the downright disrespectful shot block he had on Steph Curry last week (seriously, if you haven’t seen it, look it up now), Lauri Markkanen hasn’t gotten much exposure this season, but he should be getting more. This Finnish athlete, who played college basketball at Arizona, is hitting 3-pointers at a remarkable clip for a rookie big man. He averages 36 percent from behind the arc. Markkanen has been one of the lone bright spots on a mediocre Bulls team this year.

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