LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Donovan Mitchell, who led all NBA rookies last season by scoring 20.5 points a game, will remain with the Utah Jazz through the 2019-20 campaign, the club announced Thursday.
The Jazz exercised a club option to keep the 13th pick in last year’s NBA Draft for a third campaign just six days before Utah opens the 2018-19 season Wednesday at Sacramento.
Mitchell, who won last season’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest, joined David Robinson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only rookies since 1959 to lead all scorers for a club that wins 45 games or more. Mitchell is the only guard in that iconic group.
The 22-year-old also set a rookie record with 187 3-pointers made in a season while earning a unanimous spot on the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team, although the Rookie of the Year award went to Australian Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Mitchell averaged 24.4 points over 11 playoff games, the first rookie to average more than 20 points in the post-season since Tim Duncan in 1998 as the Jazz reached the second round before losing to the Houston Rockets.
Mitchell scored 33 points to set a Utah one-game rookie playoff record, breaking Karl Malone’s 31-point mark from 1986, then surpassed himself with a 38-point effort in a series-clinching game six first-round performance against Oklahoma City.