Combine that with the container ship full of picks coming back to Utah in the Gobert deal, Danny Ainge’s history, the hiring of a young first-time coach in Will Hardy, and it suggests a team about to start a rebuild. Other teams read it that way, which is why they are calling about a Donovan Mitchell trade, even though the Jazz are very publicly denying they will trade their star wing, saying they want to rebuild around him.
Even Mitchell had questions about the plan in Utah and reached out to Danny Ainge and Jazz management for answers, Brian Windhorst said on ESPN’s The Hoop Collective podcast.
Windhorst said the Jazz made trades they believed were in the best long-term interest of the franchise, adding that he believed the Jazz had a level of return where they would be open to a Mitchell trade as well.
Mitchell has not yet asked for a trade. However, the Jazz roster as it stands is not as good as the one that finished fifth in the West last season, and it’s fair to wonder how long Mitchell will be down for a rebuilding process before he does ask out. There are plenty of potential suitors for Mitchell, specifically in Miami and New York. When teams miss out on Kevin Durant, will some turn their sights to Mitchell?
One factor in the timing of a Mitchell trade is that All-Star Game comes to Utah next February and sources have told NBC Sports that some in the organization want to have an All-Star on the roster for that game. Meaning Mitchell. However, if the Jazz are tearing it down for a rebuild, what is the point of waiting and being middle-of-the-pack next season, then starting. Especially in an upcoming draft with Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson — guys seen as franchise players — at the top of the board?
Mitchell isn’t the only person asking what is going on in Utah, it may just be a while before we find out.