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Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and an “either him or me” for the Jazz

After losing to the Mavericks came the ultimatum for the Jazz. Gobert has leaked that if his teammate Mitchell is not traded, he will ask to leave.

Reem Abdalazem
After losing to the Mavericks came the ultimatum for the Jazz. Gobert has leaked that if his teammate Mitchell is not traded, he will ask to leave.

One of the teams that can blow up in the summer market is Utah. In terms of a squad made of armor, with a structure extended over time, the Salt Lake City team is one of the most consistent in recent years under the leadership of Quin Snyder. But the coach, with the interest of the Lakers as the main spur, could be the first out the door. There has been positive news among the players, such as the improvement of the Spanish Juancho Hernangómez in the last stretch, the explosiveness of Jordan Clarkson or the conversion of Bojan Bogdanovic. The center of the project remains, at least until now, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert or Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. For the Frenchman, according to what is known, he is the undisputed number one.

It’s either Gobert or Mitchell

Journalist Sean O’Connell ( Sirius XM ) picked up on Twitter what Gobert and his entourage had sown, and explained that “Rudy Gobert is at “him or me” point with Donovan Mitchell and will demand that one of them be traded in the next few days. Doesn’t feel they will win the championship together. Rudy feels that his own numbers are consistent or getting better, while Don is D liability and is falling off in terms of explosiveness. Gobert is also aware of at least 1 Western Conference power that would be willing to pay handsomely for his abilities.”

O’Connell added that at least one Western Conference team would be willing to take him in and pay him what he thinks he deserves, and that’s with his actual contract being 205 million for five seasons.

The 29-year-old was not unaware of this information and far from denying what was said, he posted, “every day has its own new rumor. "

The defeat against the Mavericks in the first round of the 2022 Playoffs, and missing the opportunity to hurt the rival with an injured Doncic, has created the definitive hole between the two main players of the franchise.

When did the relationship between Gobert and Mitchell worsen?

The bad relationship and mistrust between Gobert and Mitchell started growing in March, 2020, when Gobert, who was positive for coronavirus at the time, jokingly went around touching microphones, recording devices and players, which wasn’t taken lightly by many, including Mitchell.

In Gobert’s eyes he may be the main protagonist, having been Defensive Player of the Year three times and progressing in his skills on both ends of the floor, but Mitchell is the one who carries the offensive weight of the Jazz and the one who has signed some of the best numbers in years. His 57 points in the NBA bubble two years ago is a good example.

Donovan has also been to the All-Star regularly and is a scorer who, despite not being consistent, is dangerous for any opponent. This season the shooting guard has maintained his average (25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals) playing more games.

In the tie against the Mavs, a dangerous trend was even seen for the case at hand: the passes from him to Gobert reached a new low.

It might not be Mitchell

There is no connection between the two, but what does not exist is the certainty that it will be Mitchell - in case the breakup is confirmed - who will go to another team.

Donovan has also positioned itself in terms of the market. His agency, CAA , has leaked that the Knicks are interested in signing him. The move has a twist: Leon Rose, the franchise’s president for sports, was recruited by New York from the same agency.

Despite being a regular team these past few seasons, the Jazz have always been a step or two short of being the true threat they were thought to be. The last six courses have progressed to the playoffs, but have stayed in the conference semifinals or the first round.