There are plenty of things Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell has done in his first NBA season to warrant excitement, but his regular highlight film slam dunks would certainly have to be toward the top of the list.
But would Mitchell go so far as to be in the Slam Dunk Contest during February's All-Star Weekend if he was invited?
“I would love to do it," he said. "That would be amazing...I got some dunks that I think would be cool."
Last week, Oliver Maroney wrote for Uproxx that Mitchell is one of five realistic players he'd most like to see in the contest.
"Mitchell is 6’3 and has been impressive in his rookie campaign with the Jazz. His dunks, however, have been on another level," Maroney wrote.
Phoenix's Derrick Jones Jr., Golden State's Jordan Bell, Indiana's Glenn Robinson III and Dallas' Dennis Smith Jr. were the four others on Maroney's list. Incidentally, Mitchell told Rapaport that he has appeared in many dunk contests with Jones Jr. over the years and has lost most of them to him.
"I've probably done 13 dunk contests in my life," Mitchell said. "I lost 12 to Derrick Jones."
Kyle Kuzma profiled by The Ringer
Although former University of Utah and current Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma has cooled down a bit recently after his hot start, he's still one of the NBA's more interesting stories this season and was profiled last week by The Ringer's Katie Baker.
The piece details Kuzma's formative years, his early struggles with the Runnin' Utes, his first few months in the league and the dynamic of playing alongside fellow rookie Lonzo Ball.
“A lot of GMs are kicking themselves over that one,” Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is quoted as saying about Kuzma. “He’s extremely articulate and very inquisitive. I think that’s always the best trait to have, is curiosity. … When you have that kind of curiosity, you’re constantly seeking ways to improve mentally, physically.”
Separate from the profile, Kuzma was asked on Monday why he thinks his production has fallen off this month.
Q: Why do you think your production has fallen off in January?— Bill Oram (@billoram) January 8, 2018
Kyle Kuzma: You can’t be Superman all year, so... *shrug*
On Sunday, cameras caught a funny moment as another Lakers rookie, Josh Hart, tried to give Kuzma a high-five, but the former Ute didn't see him.
Kuzma later tweeted that he'd make it up to Hart.
- Kyle Collinsworth sports Moana backpack, recalls cornrows
- Learn from the Jazz and Celtics before making New Year's resolutions
- Gordon Hayward tries English accent, John Amaechi has tea with Joel Embiid
- Karl Malone returns to wrestling
And finally...A great deal of attention is on Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey with the NBA trade deadline now less than a month away and rumors swirling about moves he might make.
Lindsey's son Jake, however, stole the show for a moment last week with a nice chasedown block for Baylor against TCU, a team his cousin incidentally plays for.
Jake Lindsey, a junior who prepped at Olympus High School, is averaging 5.5 points, 3.4 assists, two rebounds and 1.1 steals in 23.1 minutes per game for the 11-4 Bears, who will take on No. 2 West Virginia Tuesday night on ESPN2.