The ongoing rumors connecting the Miami Heat to the Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell this postseason carried on when Mitchell and Heat star Jimmy Butler were seen at a party together in photos posted by their shared trainer.
After Utah’s head coach Quin Snyder made the decision to step down as Utah’s head coach, it was quickly reported by Adrian Wojnarowski that Mitchell was ‘unnerved’ and ‘unsettled’ about the future of the Jazz organization after the move. That is odd reporting since Snyder’s departure from Utah had been rumored since the All-Star break. However, there has been tension with Utah for the past few seasons, and the franchise is doing all it can to placate and build a future around Mitchell and Gobert, but now it looks like the two do not fit together long-term, and one likely has to go.
With Utah needing to part with one of their two All-Stars, which way might they be leaning?
Donovan Mitchell Status in Utah
the June 8 episode of the ‘Basketball Illuminati‘ podcast hosted by NBA insiders Amin Elhassin and Tom Haberstroh, Jazz beat writer Andy Larson discussed what his status may be with the Jazz. Larson first noted that Mitchell has not spoke with the organization since the team was eliminated from the playoffs.
The Utah Jazz are set to host the 2023 All-Star game, and so Haberstroh mentioned that the team might want to keep Mitchell as the face of the franchise to keep star power in Utah and for the All-Star weekend.
Larson went through possible trade scenarios with the Jazz and listed almost everyone on the roster besides Mitchell.
“So everyone on their roster except Donovan?” Haberstroh asked.
“It really is everybody.” Larson confirmed.
It makes sense for Utah to work to keep Mitchell to have a star when they host the All-Star game this season, but can they keep him from asking for a trade? Letting Mitchell have a say in the coaching hire is one way some think they could do so, and former Jazz assistant and current Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant could be the one they target. Mitchell’s relationship with Jazz minority owner Dwyane Wade could play a role in keeping him as well.
Gobert on the Block?
With Mitchell likely being the player Utah wants to build around, Larson did confirm that the Jazz are listening to calls and offers for their All-Star big man Rudy Gobert.
“Is shopping the right word for what they are doing with Rudy Gobert? I’m not sure, but they are talking a lot of Rudy Gobert trades,” Larson said. “So I think they are very interested in moving him. Quite frankly, I think they know that that partnership is over and probably that you can’t have a cohesive locker room and cohesive chemistry moving forward with those two guys at least for the long term… It’s pretty clear that that relationship is strained. So they’re talking to the Toronto Raptors, they’re talking to the Chicago Bulls, they’re talking to a number of different teams on whether or not they can get Rudy Gobert moved.”
If the team is able to deal Gobert and build around Mitchell is yet to be seen. The news feels discouraging if you are rooting for the Heat to acquire Mitchell, but never count Pat Riley out in his pursuit of another whale.