SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 12, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — After trading away longtime defensive anchor Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz are “showing a willingness to listen” to teams interested in acquiring All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, an NBA insider says.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Tuesday about the Jazz’s change of tune on possibly parting with their previously untouchable star, citing sources from “rival teams.”
After previously shutting down inquiries on moving All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, rival teams say the Utah Jazz are showing a willingness to listen on possible trade scenarios, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2022
“The asking price appears to be steep, but in the wake of Utah’s recent Rudy Gobert blockbuster deal to Minnesota, the Jazz are no longer simply dismissing calls on Mitchell, sources said,” Wojnarowski stated in a follow-up tweet.
It’s been an offseason of change for the Jazz, who hired Will Hardy in June to replace longtime coach Quin Snyder and then traded Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for four players and four future first-round draft picks.
Jazz general manager Justin Zanik said the team has had conversations throughout the offseason with Mitchell, who has been “very supportive of all of the things we’re doing.”
Zanik talked briefly about Mitchell’s future with the Jazz during a news conference Saturday, saying the team has “no intent” to trade the three-time All-Star but stopping short of calling him untouchable.
“Change is inevitable in the NBA,” he said. “I’m not trying to be cryptic or anything else, but Donovan’s on our roster and he’s a very, very important part of what we’re trying to do. … Things evolve in the NBA, so I couldn’t sit here and say anybody is (untouchable). We’re trying to build a championship team, but there’s no intent there at all.”
Mitchell, 25, was Utah’s leading scorer last season, averaging 25.9 points per game as the Jazz reached the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. However, Utah has been ousted in the first or second rounds each year during that stretch.
Both Zanik and Jazz CEO Danny Ainge acknowledged that Gobert’s departure signals a time of rebuilding in Utah.
“We’re in the middle of it,” Zanik said. “Our goal is to put the most competitive roster possible together but also keeping the long term in mind of building something that can grow.”