The Utah Jazz made a couple of moves leading up to Thursday's trade deadline, but none of them were of the blockbuster category. As it turns out, however, there appears to be some tension brewing within the locker room stemming from what was a relatively eventful trade deadline for the squad.
In a recent episode of The Crossover NBA Show podcast, NBA insider Howard Beck revealed how the Jazz are facing some major issues within their ranks. So much so, that it could lead to a shocking exit by cornerstone superstar Donovan Mitchell come summertime:
“I think they’re in trouble,” Beck said (h/t HoopsHype). “I think they’re in trouble because this this thing has run its course and we know there are some tensions that are in that locker room. And I’ve been told recently that they might be a little worse than we’ve even been led to believe. And so if this doesn’t end well, this postseason and there’s no reason to think that it will. … Those Donovan Mitchell ‘wants out’ rumors are going to be starting like as soon as the season is over.”
The Jazz made several deals prior to the deadline, with long-time servant Joe Ingles being shipped off to Portland Trail Blazers standing out as perhaps the most significant one. It is unclear if this is what led to the tension within the team or if there were other factors involved. Whatever the case may be, it does sound like this has been a festering issue.
This also isn't the first time we've heard whispers about Mitchell's potential exit. It sounded absurd at first considering how much stock the Jazz organization have put in the 25-year-old. However, the rumors just won't go away, and it seems that they may have some basis.
It is worth noting that it has now been nearly three years since Mitchell had a highly-publicized spat with teammate Rudy Gobert over the latter's irresponsible actions right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the virus with Mitchell also getting infected shortly after. Mitchell himself admitted that he was furious at Gobert, but the general belief is that they have since put this issue behind them. Or did they?