Donovan Mitchell looks like a star in the making

Jazz rookie guard will be depended upon with Dante Exum out

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) - Donovan Mitchell hears what people are saying about him, but he's not letting all the hype go to his head.

"With social media, it's kind of hard not to see all that," the Jazz rookie guard said. "I just really try to focus on being as humble as possible and not let it get to me at all."

Mitchell has been extremely ever since he was taken with the 13th overall pick in the NBA Draft.

After lighting up the Summer League, Mitchell scored 17 points and Phoenix and 26 in Utah's preseason finale against the L.A. Lakers on Tuesday. But he knows the rigors of the NBA schedule are going to be grueling.

"I went walking in L.A. to go shopping, and I was like man, I'm really starting to feel it in my legs," Mitchell said. "You really don't understand that. After one game, you fly, you land and you have to play the next game. That's pretty much the biggest surprise."

While Mitchell will be tested as a rookie on the court, he's just glad he won't be in the classroom anymore.

"I actually have woken up a few times thinking I had a homework assignment due," he said with a smile. "That's the biggest change, I would say, is not having to go to class. This is it."

With Dante Exum out for possibly the entire season with a shoulder injury, Mitchell is working diligently on his point guard skills.

"I'm talking to Ricky [Rubio] as much as possible pretty much every play I practice recently," Mitchell said. "I'm just asking if I did it right or did I do it wrong?"

"I think Donovan has a unique ability to score the basketball," said head coach Quin Snyder. "The dialogue that I've had there is to just be a guard. Part of him being a guard is developing ball skills. I just don't want to place all of it on one guy, though."

As for Exum, he's handling this latest setback as well as he can.

"These last two years for Dante and the adversity that he's faced can make you more despondent," Snyder said. "But he's got a lot of resolve, and there's a toughness that he's developed through experience."

So how good does Mitchell thing the Jazz be this season?

"I think we can be a really good team." he said. "I think we're a little bit underrated. I think we like having that chip on our shoulder. I've been like that my whole life, and I love being the underdog and underrated."

The Jazz tip off the NBA regular season Wednesday night at home against Denver.


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