Something needs to change in this Utah Jazz team. This team has always been impressive when it comes to the regular season. Yet again and again, they have found incredible ways to disappoint their fans in the playoffs. Whether it was losing a series lead or passing games to a team worse than them, the Jazz just couldn’t figure it out in the postseason.
Now their situation has reached a critical point. Rumors of a tainted relationship between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have only intensified as the 2022 NBA offseason rolls on. Sooner or later, Jazz may be forced to part ways with one of them.
It’s time to rip off the Band-Aid for Jazz. One or both of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert must leave for this team to have any semblance of progress. So which one should go?
2 Jazz players to be traded in 2022 NBA offseason
Rudy Gobert is the backbone of the Jazz defense and one of the top rim guards of the year. Rudy Gobert is the reason the Jazz fails in the playoffs every season.
These two statements sum up just how divisive the French star has been among the game’s fans. On the one hand, his ability to defend the rim and deter would-be attackers is invaluable to the Jazz. So much so that they rotated their defensive approach around Gobert rim protection. After all, there is a reason why he is a multiple DPOY winner.
However, Gobert also plays almost no role on the attacking end of the court. He relies heavily on his defense to create a pick and roll offense for him. When the ball does get to him, the jazz star tends to fumble the ball or miss the smaller opponent. Because of this, his teammates most often don’t even look at him on offense. His defensive reputation has also been shaken by numerous playoff stints in which he was exposed.
For now, the change of scenery is likely to benefit both Jazz and Gobert. Their plan to send slashers to Gobert has hurt them more than it has helped so far. If it comes down to it, Rudy Gobert is most likely a player who left the team in a blockbuster trade.
However, this does not mean that Donovan Mitchell is immune to these trading rumors. While the electric quarterback has been absolutely phenomenal for them on offense with the ball, there are several reasons why he could leave Utah by the end of the offseason.
First, Donovan Mitchell could well have gotten a higher price on the trading market. The jazz star’s offensive prowess is in demand among many competing teams today. Teams like the Miami Heat or the New York Knicks are likely to make a big offer for the star if he becomes available for trade.
If the Jazz, under their new coach, also decide to focus more on defensive stamina, Mitchell could be in the trade. Speed is known to be tough when it comes to defense, as he cannot keep his man in front of him all the time. This, along with the deterioration of his relationship with Gobert, could lead to him eventually being traded.
If the Jazz are looking to make any meaningful changes in the coming seasons, they’ll need to break up the couple that got them there in the first place. Given their apparent dislike for each other and lack of chemistry, any further partnership will only hurt them more than help them fight for the title.