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Stephen A. Smith’s hot take: Donovan Mitchell is better than John Stockton, Karl Malone

Donovan Mitchell & Stephen A.Smith

Stephen A. Smith’s claims Donovan Mitchell is better than John Stockton, Karl Malone

Whatever Stephen A. Smith is smoking, we’d like that, too, because he was in a different headspace when he commented that Donovan Mitchell is the greatest talent Utah Jazz has ever had. Here’s why he is wrong. 

What Donovan Mitchell brings to the Jazz

Donovan Mitchell’s game has always been compared to Dwyane Wade.Both are super athletic with a relentless drive to attack the basket. They are crafty with the ball and can score with various moves. However, if Wade is not the best talent in Miami Heat history, what makes Mitchell, the player who plays the same way, the greatest talent in Jazz history?

Donovan is a great player, he almost willed his team to win the conference semifinals showdown against Denver Nuggets.

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He is also one of those players that performs better during the playoffs. His career postseason average is at 28.8 points per game compared to his regular-season average of 23.6 points. A big-time performer and a talented scorer, that’s who he is. But are these enough to consider him the greatest talent Jazz has ever had? Smith certainly thinks so. 

“I will remind y’all that even though he doesn’t have the resume, I’m not comparing resumes, Donovan Mitchell is the greatest talent in the history of the Jazz franchise. A better talent than Karl Malone, a better talent than John Stockton.”

SAS is wrong about Mitchell

In fairness to Smith, he tried to set the parameters of his argument. He was not comparing basketball resumes and clarified that he only made the assumption based on talent. Smith crowned Donovan as the greatest talent who played in Utah ever. A quick look at the players who suited up for Jazz should remind Stephen of his ridiculousness. 

He besmirched the names of Hall of Famers Karl Malone and John Stockton, the latter many consider at the greatest point guard ever. Even if we take Malone and Stockton out of the equation, other players are arguably more talented than Donovan Mitchell.

Deron Williams and Pistol Pete Maravich can all give Donovan a run for his money. Donovan only made the All-Star game twice in his career, while Williams made three. At this point, Deron remains ahead, but Donovan has all the time and skills to overtake him. Also, Deron took Utah to the conference finals while Donovan, so far, only made it to the conference semifinals. Individually, Mitchell is ahead in terms of stats but is this enough to proclaim him the best talent the Jazz history?

Malone and Stockton put Jazz on the map. Record books serve as evidence of what they were able to accomplish. For example, if Mitchell wins a title for Utah, there could be an argument in that discussion. But for now, Mitchell remains a great player but not the best talent that played for Utah. 

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