NBA Season Preview 2019-20: 10 players most likely to be first-time All-Stars

Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images /
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5. Donovan Mitchell

Why he’ll make it:

Even with Mike Conley joining the party, Donovan Mitchell is almost certain to lead the Utah Jazz in scoring in 2019-20. This team’s inevitable ascent up the standings will only draw more attention to their success, so if Mitchell can get his buckets more efficiently (rather than as a result of high volume), his face will be at the forefront of Utah’s feel-good rise.

Last year, he posted 23.8 points, 4.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 36.2 percent from 3-point range, but only made 43.2 percent of his shots overall. If he can keep his rebounds and assists relatively level despite Conley’s arrival, and if he learns to be more efficient, he and the Jazz are in line for a true breakout season.

Why he won’t make it:

This probably feels too low for a third-year star ready to take flight as the leading scorer on a possible Finals team, but with Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic on board, not to mention Rudy Gobert‘s essential role as the team’s defensive anchor, isn’t there a chance this influx of accompanying talent diminishes Mitchell’s production and/or impact?

His FIBA World Cup experience was supposed to be his coming-out party, but he and Team USA struggled. Unless his numbers somehow take another jump while the Jazz insert themselves in the “legitimate contender” category, the credit for Utah’s ascension might be too split to get Mitchell into his first All-Star Game. More than likely, Utah will have a better All-Star candidate to promote.