Time heals all wounds, and the Utah Jazz hope that’s the case with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell’s relationship. Several factors, though, show that the duo’s future together is in doubt.
Man, who would have though that in April we would be talking about the Utah Jazz potentially breaking up a duo that is just scratching the surface of their potential? It wasn’t supposed to go down this way. We were supposed to be gearing up for a deep playoff run.
Rudy Gobert, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and Donovan Mitchell, a rising star at the age of 23, are at an all time low in their relationship. Chemistry issues were apparent throughout the season, but the novel coronavirus saga seemed to be the last straw.
The initial reaction from most Utah Jazz fans I saw after this article released was pure panic. After having some time to let it sink in, plenty of fans figured that the Jazz still have time to work on this relationship. The clock continues to tick, though, and the future is in serious doubt.
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We already know that the Jazz plan on signing Donovan Mitchell to a max contract extension during the off-season. That has been expected for months and the only thing left to do is put the pen to paper.
Mitchell is the player that Utah will be building around for many years to come. Rudy Gobert is the best player on this team, but with his contract set to expire after next season, he’s a hard candidate on the trading block, regardless if he makes any progress in his relationship with Mitchell over the next few months.
Since his diagnosis, Gobert has received very little support from his peers around the league. The only player who has been on his side throughout this whole thing is Orlando’s Evan Fournier. His teammates have been fairly quiet with their public comments.
His frustrations with Mitchell have been made very public, but it would not surprise me if Gobert’s relationship with the rest of the team needs work as well.
The odds of Gobert re-signing with the Jazz right now have to be considered slim. Even if you can figure this out and get Gobert and Mitchell on the same page, you’d be making a huge commitment for a duo that has already showed strains in their relationship.
If Mitchell is your guy, then you have to do what you can to keep him happy and hope he remains beyond that second contract. Is he going to want to play with Gobert long term? I’m not so sure about that.
We don’t know what the future holds for the Utah Jazz. At this point, all we can do is hope for the best, but getting a best case scenario out of all this seems unlikely. Again, who would have thought that Utah’s season would end up like this?