As always seems to happen when the Jazz hit a losing streak, rumors are circulating that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are at odds again. Mix in a new owner in Utah bringing in Danny Ainge to head basketball operations, and it’s led to speculation about Mitchel potentially wanting out of Salt Lake City if this team falls short in the playoffs again.
Joe Ingles isn’t buying any of it.
Joe Ingles, on the Donovan Mitchell rumors: "I don't think Donovan wants to leave. We see him every day, and he loves where he's at, he loves our team. If they were … around us every day and heard him say he wants to leave, that's completely different. But they're not."
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) January 28, 2022
Going into this season, before Ainge was hired, this was seen around the league as a make-or-break year for the Jazz. Last season’s ugly exit to a Clippers team without Kawhi Leonard exposed shortcomings on this team, but the Jazz were without Mike Conley and Mitchell basically was playing on one leg. This season was the chance to fix the flaws, stay healthy, and make a Bucks-like playoff run. If there is another flame out, changes are coming.
That remains the consensus around the league. What those changes might be are up for debate. There have long been some around the league suggesting Mitchell wants the spotlight of a bigger market than Salt Lake City, but he has embraced the city and winning cures a lot of ills. Fall short this year and changes are coming. Maybe changes for where Mitchell plays, maybe just changes of who plays around him in Utah, but there is a lot of the table heading into the playoffs.