“You could make the case for him to be an All-Star but he is a young player with a bright future who is going to have a long and steady all-star career.
“You want that fire in his belly and the question I pose is, has Donovan closed the gap to Simmons as rookie of the year? Personally I would have to say yes.
“What Mitchell has done and what Utah has done in winning 10 straight, the catalyst has been Mitchell.”
Mitchell has become a go-to scorer for the Jazz during their 10-game winning streak and both he and Simmons will play on opposing teams in the NBA Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend.
Miller also pointed out Mitchell is in his first year in an NBA system after playing college basketball last year with Louisville while Simmons spent the season with the Sixers as he recovered from a serious foot injury.
“I like to point out that Simmons is a “redshirt” rookie and while people point out that that wasn’t his fault, he has been around NBA training facilities, NBA trainers and around that system for a year so you can’t tell me he has not had a head start over most rookies,” Miller said.
“I like the whole Grant Hill/Jason Kidd co-rookie of the year because I think both are well deserving of it.”
Miller appeared on the call with fellow NBA great and Turner commentator Chris Webber and both men added Simmons was reacting the right way to missing out on an all-star selection this season by playing harder on the court.
They both expected the Australian to become an All-Star as his Philadelphia 76ers become a winning side.
“This is his first year and who are you going to take off,” Webber said.