Jazz Summer League Review – Growth of Exum, potential of Mitchell, and top plays


Summer League
Photo by Kristin Murphy – Deseret News

As the Utah Jazz Summer League comes to a close, many find themselves excited for the regular season to begin (myself included). The Jazz went 3-0, and for the most part, were very impressive. I always enjoy watching summer league because I like to see how rookies and young players adapt to the faster speed of the NBA.

Dante Exum, who is in his 3rd year in the NBA, was the most experienced NBA player in this years Utah Summer League. As we all know, he has missed a big chunk of those 3 years due to injury, so it was nice to see him make up some of his playing time and see how he has improved his game since the season ended.

Exum’s stat line throughout the 3 games was fairly impressive – 20 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.3 RPG / 52 FG%, 41.6 3FG%

A few things I really liked from Exum were:

  1. Confidence – Exum looked very confident throughout summer league. He looked like a leader, and was not afraid to shoot the ball, or drive to the hoop.
  2. Shooting stroke – His shot already looks a ton better than it did compared to just the end of the regular season. Much smoother and quicker release.
  3. Vision – You can tell when Exum was dribbling the ball, that he had the ability to see things before they happened. This was something he has struggled with in his short time in the NBA.

Donovan Mitchell will soon be a household name in the state of Utah. Out of everyone in the Utah Jazz Summer League, and I mean EVERYONE who played from the 4 teams in SLC, I thought overall that Mitchell was the most impressive. Yes, I think he played better than #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, and #3 overall pick Jayson Tatum. Not just for his scoring ability, but also defensive ability.

Mitchell was a highlight reel for the Jazz! He showed great leaping ability, defensive effort, and overall leadership during his time on the court for the Jazz. His shot is smooth and quick. I think Mitchell will get a lot more playing time than expected his rookie year, partially because of the exit of “He who must not be named”. The Jazz will need scoring this year, and boy can Mitchell deliver.

Donovan Mitchell’s Summer League stat line – 15.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.3 SPG / 43 FG%, 38 3FG%

Mitchell was a defensive force throughout the summer league. I was thoroughly impressed by his on-ball and off-ball defense. The only area I would like to see Mitchell improve is his shot selection. At times he seemed to force shots, or shoot too early in the shot clock.

Top Plays

  1. Mitchell shakes Tatum, then dishes.


2. Mitchell’s Monster Slam


3. Mitchell behind the back to Exum


4. Griffin posterizes multiple Celtics


5. Exum’s quick layup off pick


The Jazz finished the Summer League 3-0, and the youngsters showed a lot of great talent. I think the biggest takes from these 3 games are: Mitchell is going to be really good for us, Exum is getting much better, and the Jazz have a bright future.


– Jesse Thayne



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