The 2022 NBA offseason has pretty much been the Utah Jazz. The biggest trades of the summer have been Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, going to Minnesota and Cleveland respectively. Both of these trades were the biggest we’ve seen so far, with the Jazz getting historic return in terms of future draft picks and a chunk of good young talent. Even after dealing Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, do the Jazz have more up their sleeve? All signs are pointing towards yes.
The Jazz were once again the focal point of NBA offseason chatter yesterday as Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik met with reporters and made some pretty candid and revealing remarks.
Ainge was brutally honest about what he saw when the Jazz brought him in last year.
“What I saw during the season was a group of players that really didn’t believe in each other,” Ainge told reporters at a news conference on Monday. “Like the whole group, I think they liked each other even more than what was reported, but I’m not sure there was a belief.
“When we got to the playoffs I thought, well this is a team that has had some disappointing playoffs, so I thought maybe they’re just waiting for the playoffs. I gave them that benefit of the doubt, but it was clear the team didn’t perform well in the playoffs again.”
“Like I believe every one of these guys went into every game believing they were going to win, don’t get me wrong on that,” Ainge said. “I’m just saying when adversity hit, the resolve, you could see in a team that has a true belief in having each other’s back or one another.
“I think individually they have resolve, but I just don’t believe collectively they did. So you see a lot of players trying to do it on their own as the believe in one another wasn’t as great as teams I’ve been on and around that I’ve seen
Danny was bringing the heat on a coolish September morning. But did he lie? I don’t think so. Anyone that has watched the Jazz over the last few seasons as noticed the inability to “rally around eachother” and really grind through tough things. We know there was some beef that was “set aside” to win a championship, but the beef eventually got the best of everyone and that era of the Utah Jazz has come to an end.
Yesterday after Ainge’s remarks made their way throughout Twitter and other media, experts resumed talk on the Jazz’s offseason and what other moves they might be making before training camp starts.
More changes for the Jazz may be on the way— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 12, 2022
"They still have Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley. The sense around the league is that the Jazz at least feel that they have deals for all of those veteran players." - @ramonashelburne pic.twitter.com/o9sX1sr9PC
Ramona Shelburne mentioned that the Jazz “have deals lined up” for Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jordan Clarkson, being able to actually make them whenever they want to. The Jazz are on an obvious rebuild, and those three players, at least all together, don’t make much sense to remain in Utah for very much longer.
It’s a little surprising that all three of them have made it this far into September without being traded yet, honestly. It might just be a matter of time, or when Ainge and Zanik can work out the best possible deals and continue to get as much draft capital as possible. Ainge talked a little bit yesterday about the 2023 draft class, and actually mentioned 2024 being “even better”. The Jazz have 19 players on roster right now, which obviously will need to be trimmed down in some way before the season begins. If you like trades and draft picks, this has been your summer!