Donovan Mitchell made history last night, posting the third-highest scoring output in Playoffs history. The young guard scored 57 points on 19-for-33 from the floor, 6-for-15 from behind the line, and draining all 13 free throw attempts. This isn't one of those "the first guy under XY years." This is all time, behind MJ's 63 and Elgin's 61.
Mitchell was the 13th pick overall and caught everyone by surprise with his monster performances from day 1. With Hayward gone to Boston, a light rebuild was predicted for Utah - Mitchell changed that expectation. As soon as his skills around the rim became apparent, one comparison kept popping out. This kid's like the new Dwyane Wade. On the latest OM3 Podcast with J.J. Redick, Wade elaborated on who reminds him of himself in the league, and why.
“Donovan Mitchell. Undersized. Underrated coming in. Plays kinda' similar. He can shoot it better than me, obviously.”
Dwyane Wade, OM3 Pod
Their body type, the way they move on the court, and fearlessness while attacking the rim make the comparison obvious. What's interesting is that Wade didn't mention those qualities, but focused on "undersized and underrated." You probably don't consider Dwayne Wade was undersized for an SG, or that he was underrated.
Flash came into the league in one of the best draft classes in NBA history, and despite Darko at no.2, you can't say picking LeBron, Melo or Bosh ahead of him means he was underrated. But that's how type-A competitive superstars think. There's always someone to chase and someone to prove wrong.
In addition to that, Wade pointed out why Mitchell has the potential to be Flash 2.0. You can't play in today's NBA without a reliable outside shot - something that was never Wade's calling card. The fact that was one of the things he decided to point out about Mitchell is significant.
By his answer, we can see Wade is at peace in his retirement and is enjoying someone is playing a modern version of his game in the NBA. Even more so, Mitchell is in touch with D-Wade and can always get advice and mentorship from him. That's one of the reasons the NBA has a bright future - the legends feel a responsibility to guide the up-and-coming stars to greatness.