When the Utah Jazz agreed to trade Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, it raised one obvious question: Is Donovan Mitchell next? The Jazz might eventually choose to completely rebuild their roster, but doing so doesn’t appear to be on the organization’s immediate agenda.
Utah is saying that it doesn’t intend to trade Mitchell, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, and Mitchell hasn’t asked to be sent elsewhere. There have been rumors that the Jazz could trade both stars since Utah suffered another early postseason exit in the 2022 NBA playoffs.
The Jazz have reportedly turned down offers for Mitchell, as Utah tells teams that it plans to build around the star guard.
The return that the Jazz received in exchange for Gobert has prompted speculation that Utah is ready to tank. Utah received a haul in exchange for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, but the team’s chances of competing for a championship decreased significantly. The Minnesota Timberwolves sent the Jazz four first-round draft picks as the centerpiece of the deal.
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
The Jazz also traded starter Royce O’Neale to the Brooklyn Nets for a 2023 first-round pick, another sign that they might be looking toward the future.
Mitchell is 25 years old and under contract for three more seasons. Averaging 23.9 points per game for his career with three-straight All-Star appearances, Mitchell would also command several first-round picks in a potential trade.
The Jazz have made the playoffs with a top-six record in the West in all five of Mitchell’s NBA seasons. If Utah isn’t a postseason contender during the 2022-2023 season, the guard’s long-term future probably won’t be with the Jazz.
It’s possible that Utah could turn some of the draft picks that it acquired for Gobert into an All-Star caliber player.
Mitchell’s trade value might’ve taken a hit in the 2022 playoffs. The guard’s poor defense was a major factor in Utah being upset by the Dallas Mavericks in their first-round series.
The New York Knicks and Miami Heat are viewed as the top contenders to trade for Mitchell.