The NBA suspended its season due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Wednesday night, and Thursday morning, a second player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus. Donovan Mitchell, the leading scorer on the Utah Jazz, became the second NBA player to test positive for coronavirus.
“We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials, and the NBA to monitor their health and determine the best path moving forward,” said the Utah Jazz in a statement.
The Mitchell news comes approximately 12 hours after his teammate, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for coronavirus. The Jazz were on the road and set to play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night when the game was initially delayed, and then postponed, due to Gobert’s positive test.
Gobert became the first infected player in the NBA. The entire team was quarantined and tested last night at an Oklahoma City hotel.
When medical officials confirmed Gobert’s positive test for COVID-19, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the decision to suspend all NBA games indefinitely.
All members of the Jazz, including coaching staff were tested. Gobert and Mitchell are the only two Jazz players to test positive.
Players who competed against the Jazz opponents in the last 10 days have also been told to self-quarantine. That includes the defending champion Toronto Raptors. The Raptors were the Jazz’s previous opponent.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Detroit Pistons are also on the self-quarantine list after playing against the Jazz in the previous 10 days.
“No one from the Utah Jazz organization currently knows how or when Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gobert contracted coronavirus,” said a spokesperson for the team.
Who Is Donovan Mitchell?
Mitchell, 23, is a 6-foot-1 shooting guard for the Utah Jazz. He’s playing in his third season in the NBA. Mitchell leads the Jazz with 24.2 points per game this season. He’s the 14th-top scorer in the NBA, and averages 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
The Denver Nuggets initially drafted Mitchell with the #13 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Nuggets traded him on Draft Day to the Jazz for the #24 pick (Tyler Lydon) and Trey Lyles.
Mitchell played his collegiate ball at Louisville. He spent two years at Louisville and averaged 15.6 ppg in his sophomore season before declaring himself eligible for the NBA.
Mitchell made a name for himself during his rookie season when he won the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend.
As a rookie, Mitchell averaged 20.5 ppg. The NBA named him to the 2018 All-Rookie Team. He averaged 24.4 points per game in 11 playoff games during his rookie season.
In his second season, Mitchell averaged 23.8 ppg. He proved that his initial foray into the NBA wasn’t a fluke. During the postseason, Mitchell averaged 21.4 points per game. However, the Jazz were knocked out of the first round by the Houston Rockets.
Hot Year for Mitchell
The Jazz (41-23) currently have the #4 seed in the Western Conference playoff race, mostly due to Mitchell’s voluminous scoring ability.
Before the season was curtailed, Mitchell had been on a tear for the Jazz. Mitchell scored 30 points or more in his previous four games. He unleased 38 points against the Phoenix Suns and 37 points against the Boston Celtics in consecutive games.
Mitchell scored 30-plus points 18 times this season. He dropped 30+ in consecutive games seven times this season.
Mitchell earned a spot on the 2020 NBA All-Star Team and appeared on Team Giannis.
In early January, Mitchell lit up the New Orleans Pelicans for 46 points in overtime.