As much as fans have enjoyed watching the Utah Jazz become a consistent force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference over the past four years, the bitter truth is that the team has been unable to capitalize on his regular-season success in post-season production. .
Being consistently short in the playoffs leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, and eventually the team in question has to look at the formula. After all, if you keep doing the things you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting the things you’ve always had.
With that in mind, it may really be time for the Jazz to bite the bullet and part ways with three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert or All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. At least, that’s what Yahoo Sports“says Ben Rohrback.
With rumors swirling around the Jazz, Gobert, Mitchell and even head coach Quin Snyder, what this team needs is a resolution. And that’s what new CEO Danny Ainge could be looking for sooner rather than later.
No amount of movement around them has brought them closer to a championship. It doesn’t help that Gobert and Mitchell passively fired at each other amid reports that they aggressively dislike each other. It’s time to choose between them, and newly hired executive Danny Ainge is the right man to do it.
Whether Ainge has the will or the guts to split the Gobert/Mitchell ticket remains to be seen, but as Rohrback bets he is the right man to do it, should it happen. The question is, what value would either player have in the trade market?
Rohrback sketches it.
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Gobert and Mitchell should hold considerable value in the open market, but that value is lower than it might have been in past offseasons. Gobert is nearing 30 and has yet to prove he can be a difference-maker against more malleable playoff offenses. Mitchell’s defense has turned Mavericks goaltender Jalen Brunson into a superstar, and he’s more of a singular offensive force than a team playmaker.
If you were Ainge, and you might be wrong, would you roll the dice to retain the offensive dynamo with an aversion to defense, or the impervious defender with a limited scoring advantage in the modern NBA?
Let’s be honest here. Mitchell’s skill set is more in line with the direction the NBA is heading than Gobert, the latter being a figure straight out of a bygone era of the game. Put Gobert in Utah circa 1996-97 and the Jazz will likely find a way to win. one of those series finales against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
When it comes to picking sides, Ainge and Jazz GM Justin Zanik will likely support the All-Star guard for many different reasons, not the least of which, despite his defensive dereliction of duty, is his age. Mitchell starts his season at 26 while Gobert turns 30 this summer.
If the stars align in a certain way, it likely draws Mitchell’s figure into the NBA firmament. But another factor that would impact such a momentous decision is value – specifically, what the Jazz could fetch in exchange for each respective player.
There are probably more resources to be squeezed out of a Mitchell trade than a Gobert deal, especially when it comes to using the capital to rebuild the Jazz roster. In that sense, if Rohrback is right and Ainge chooses to break up Utah’s prolific duo, it’s hard to speculate which player will end up being dealt.
Everything will be known in due time.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.