The Utah Jazz partly blew up their core last week, trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for an absolute haul and also shipping Royce O’Neale off to the Brooklyn Nets. These moves left Donovan Mitchell scratching his head.
According to Brian Windhorst, who spoke on his Hoop Collective Podcast, Mitchell approached the front office and asked them what their plan is after parting ways with two key players. Windhorst revealed the Jazz are essentially looking to “do what’s right” for the franchise, with Danny Ainge, in particular, believing that giving up Gobert and O’Neale was in the best interest of Utah.
To be honest, that’s hard to understand and you really can’t blame Donovan Mitchell for voicing his concern. It also leaves him feeling uneasy because there have already been rumors swirling about Spida being the next player traded. He even got posted a cryptic message on Twitter which certainly hinted at his true feelings.
Windhorst did note that the Jazz could be willing to cut ties with their franchise star if the right offer comes along. Although Mitchell has yet to lead this club to a title, he’s been a very good player since entering the league in 2017, making the All-Star Game in the last three seasons.
In 2021-22, Donovan Mitchell averaged 25.9 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 36% from deep. The Jazz has made the playoffs every single season since the guard came into the NBA.
Utah did get some intriguing pieces in the Gobert deal though, including first-round pick Walker Kessler, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley, among others. But, their title aspirations absolutely take a hit with the loss of Gobert. It’s practically impossible to replace his defensive production and it’s unlikely Hassan Whiteside is going to cut it. The Jazz need another big and who knows, maybe a Deandre Ayton trade could be pulled off.