What a week it’s been for the Utah Jazz.
We all thought we had an idea of what might go down as we approached the offseason and free-agency, and it happened when Rudy Gobert was traded to the Timberwolves last week.
Since then, there has still been a lot of rumors and speculation surrounding the Jazz and what more they might have up their sleeves. After some pretty heavy speculation (mostly from fans) that Donovan Mitchell was also going to be traded. The Jazz reportedly received “several calls” from teams inquiring about Donovan Mitchell. The rumors of a Donovan Mitchell trade are nothing really new if you’ve followed the Jazz closely over the years. His ties to the Knicks and his home town have been the topic of discussion on a lot of tv talk/radio shows for quite some time now. But with the Jazz seemingly entering rebuild mode, these trade rumors started getting some real emotional traction among fans.
Yesterday morning, Brian Windhorst reported that Donovan Mitchell was planning to “stand pat” in Utah and not force a trade.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reporting this morning that Donovan Mitchell plans to “stand pat” in Utah and is “not gonna force any action right now”— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) July 7, 2022
Windhorst, whose reaction to the Royce O’Neale trade to Brooklyn went viral last week, knew the Jazz had something up their sleeves before trading Rudy Gobert. Although, that might not have been what he was thinking, he led Jazz fans on to believe that Utah was going to be cleaning out, much like the Boston Celtics did when they traded their star players to the Nets years ago, ensuing a major rebuild of the organization. The weekend came and went, and nothing else happened after the Rudy Gobert trade, until Windhorst reported Mitchell’s “stand pat” plans yesterday morning.
Assuming Mitchell really is fine with staying in Utah for a couple more years, and the Jazz don’t want to trade him, what does his future as a Jazzman look like? It seems like as a team, the Jazz are inevitably headed towards a rebuild. New young coach, trading who is arguably their most impactful player in terms of winning, trading other glue guys like Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, etc.
All signs point to the Jazz entering a phase of a major rebuild. That being said, how is that going to affect Donovan Mitchell? Assuming that he actually is playing for the Jazz next season, it’s definitely going to be interesting seeing how he and the Jazz perform in the post-Rudy era.
Donovan Mitchell has been a beast in Utah:— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 3, 2022
— 3x All Star
Led the Jazz in playoff points every season of his career. pic.twitter.com/ahvdUIO5HO
You know he’s absolutely going to score the basketball. His green light just got even greener, and it might get even more green as the season approaches. It wouldn’t surprise me if Mitchell averages upwards of 27 points per game in this coming season. But will the Jazz be good? Probably not. It seems like the All-Star game in Utah is carrying a lot of weight in the minds of Jazz executives, and with it being the first time in 20+ years that the ASG stops in SLC, they are definitely going to want a player in the game.
Love or hate Donovan playing next season in Utah?— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) July 8, 2022
"I like it a lot. I'm tired of the trade demands with 3-4 years left on the deal. If you're that guy, lead them to the play-in or playoffs. You've been complaining about Rudy Gobert, he's out. It's your team." — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/4mSF6EBN3b
We’ve heard about the beef between Donovan and Rudy for years now. We’ve felt the awkward on-court tension between them for a couple seasons. Mitchell won’t have to worry about that now, with Rudy in Minnesota and whole open floor for him to be himself. He’ll have the opportunity to take full control of the team and be a leader, if he truly wants to.