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Rumor: Rudy Gobert could become available in trade talks if he doesn’t sign extension with Jazz

Rudy Gobert, Jazz

The rift between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell could be cause for some headaches within the Utah Jazz, yet not many believe their recent tiff will be a driving factor in roster decisions the franchise makes in the near future.

“I think it’s fine,” an Eastern Conference executive told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “The Jazz have no interest in trading either guy, and I don’t think it’s leading to the breakup of their team.”

Still, that hasn’t stopped other executives of keeping a close eye on Gobert’s potential contract situation.

Mitchell could be a restricted free agent in 2021, but he’s a surefire candidate to get a full max offer from the Jazz when he’s eligible for an extension this offseason. Gobert is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 20201, and he’s eligible for a supermax deal.

If The Stifle Tower and the Jazz can’t agree to a contract extension, some believe they could see Gobert becoming available in trade talks.

“They’re not Stockton and Malone,” said a Western Conference executive. “It’s a different time. There’s not a lot of guys like that anymore.”

Mitchell and Gobert might be Utah’s best on-court pairing since John Stockton and Karl Malone, but by no means does that make them inseparable. The two simply aren’t as highly dependent on the other to make that the case.

Stockton was a pure point guard with a gift of creating opportunities for the team’s leading scorer in Malone. Their pick-and-roll game was the best in the league, bar none.

While Mitchell complements Gobert’s game well, the two are not so intrinsically connected that they are to be considered a package deal, making the older Gobert the potentially expendable piece should negotiations go awry.