Ben Simmons remains the early favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year, but he’ll have to keep producing at a high level to hold off a hard-charging challenger.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has become one of the NBA’s fast-rising young stars. Averaging over 17 points per game, with a personality and style to match, he’s become a magnet for collectors, too.
The NBA Auctions Jersey of the Week is the one Mitchell donned during his NBA debut on October 18 and the winning bid will likely top five figures. Bidding has passed $8,000 with the auction set to conclude on Thursday night.
The white home jersey is a size 50 but also includes four inches in extra length. It’s registered into the NBA and MeiGray Game Worn Jersey Authentication Program.
Mitchell played 26 minutes that night, scoring ten points and handing out four assists. His game has ascended since then. Earlier this month, he scored 41 points, becoming the first rookie to reach 40 in a game since Blake Griffin in 2011. For the month, he’s averaging over 22 points per game.
Jazz fans have embraced the youngster out of Louisville.
“The Mitchell love is legit,” wrote Brad Rock of Deseret News in Salt Lake City. “He’s likable, humble, teachable and talented. A regular Tom Hanks in sneakers.”
Mitchell is athletic and has been solid enough on defense to grab a starting role, surprising even the team that swung a draft night trade with Denver to acquire him at pick #13 in the 2017 NBA Draft.
“I don’t pretend to have a crystal ball. Necessity is the mother of invention,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey told The Big Show during a recent interview. “We thought Donovan could take a few possessions. This many possessions? I’d be lying to say, ‘Hey, I knew it’d play out exactly how it’s played out.’”
Mitchell’s debut jersey is one of many opening night jerseys currently up for bid at NBA Auctions.