Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell wasn’t having it. With him still sidelined due to a sprained ankle, it seems he has loads of extra free time to scroll through social media. And one post particularly piqued Mitchell’s interest.
Veteran ESPN writer Kevin Pelton bared his choices for the All-Defensive Teams this season. At first glance, it actually looks good. No absurd choices. But after seeing it, Mitchell noticed someone’s missing. No other than his teammate Royce O’Neale. And of course, Mitchell had to point out the omission on Twitter.
Man @BucketsONeale00 needs to be on this list…… https://t.co/AlXJE9xAQP
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) May 12, 2021
Mitchell has always been a great teammate, lending support to his guys even when he’s not playing, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he was flexing O’Neale as an All-Defensive Team member. To his credit, O’Neale has truly helped the Jazz climb a higher level defensively with his length, athletics, and motor.
Appreciating Mitchell’s campaign, O’Neale responded on Twitter as well, implying he agrees with the snub and will let everyone know in the near future.
🧾 just gone keep all receipts you know! 🤞🏾 🤷🏾♂️
— Royce O’Neale (@BucketsONeale00) May 12, 2021
While Mitchell’s assessment of O’Neale as a terrific defensive player has merit, the million-dollar question is: Who should be taken out from the 10 guys on Pelton’s prediction? The First Team looks like a lock, with Mitchell’s and O’Neale’s teammate Rudy Gobert leading the way. As for the Second Team, the selection of Matisse Thybulle and Luguentz Dort might be the most debatable ones.
The Jazz are clearly one of the top defensive teams in the NBA this season, allowing only 107.5 points per outing, third stingiest in the league. For sure, Royce O’Neale has contributed to that, but come on now, Donovan Mitchell might have been too trigger-happy with his Tweet.