Rudy Gobert’s departure has shaken the Jazz’s foundation, but only to a point. Confirmed the goodbye of the Frenchman, not a few were quick to point out that Donovan Mitchell could be the next to leave. They were basically talking about a complete rebuild where keeping the 25-year-old shooting guard was pointless. Well, the reality seems to be quite different.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPNthe plan of the Salt Lake City organization is to continue building a roster around Donovan Mitchell; so much so that all the calls received in search of a transfer of the guard have been nipped in the bud. Bottom line: They want Mitchell to continue to be the piece on which the franchise revolves.
The truth is that the current panorama is not far from what had been hinted at months ago. Already in the middle of the season, chemistry problems were detected in the team, which soon turned into reports that Utah was on the way to decide who continued between Gobert and Mitchell – never both. They have released the center, as expected. Now the idea is not to break down the team, but to put it back together.
Will they be able to remain competitive? That is the question. The truth is that the exchange with Minnesota (transfer of Gobert) has brought them interesting pieces such as Patrick Beverley, Michael Beasley or Jared Vanderbilt. It remains to be seen which of them fit the new coach, Will Hardy, but it doesn’t seem like a bad starting point.
Going back to Mitchell, and even more knowing the NBA, we cannot guarantee that he will not end up leaving – either now or in months. If the plan of the Jazz was to transfer him in the short term, it would not do them any good to announce that this is his wish; moreover, they would only make him lose value. For now the course is marked with him on the ship. We’ll see if he has a tour.
(Photograph by Alex Goodlett/GettyImages)