Jazz Rumors: Snyder, Mitchell, Gobert, Offseason

Although the Jazz were eliminated in the first round for the third time in four years, the team’s ownership and management groups don’t consider head coach Quin Snyder part of the problem in Utah, sources tell Sam Amick of The Athletic. The comments made by general manager Justin Zanik during a media session on Friday certainly back that up.

“Quin Snyder is one of the best coaches in the NBA,” Zanik said, according to Erik Walden and Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. “There is no other partner I would rather have as a coach and as a leader of our players and as a partner in our front office than Quin Snyder.”

According to Amick, Snyder has one guaranteed year left on his contract with the Jazz, then has an option year (the option decision is Snyder’s, not the team’s) for 2023/24. However, sources tell The Athletic that the head coach has been unsure for much of the year what his future holds and plans to assess his options now that the season is over. Staying with the Jazz, going to a new team, or even taking a year off are all options, Amick writes.

Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein, who first reported on the Snyder situation in March, says today that the Lakers‘ interest in the veteran coach is serious, but adds that there’s skepticism in coaching circles that Snyder would leave Utah for Los Angeles, given the drama that surrounded Frank Vogel during his tenure with the team.

Stein, who reiterates that the Jazz unsuccessfully tried to extend Snyder prior to the 2021/22 season, agrees with Amick that the idea of the 55-year-old taking a year off isn’t out of the question. Snyder is “known to be held in high regard” by the Spurs, according to Stein, who suggests that a one-year hiatus from coaching could put him in position to become Gregg Popovich‘s successor.

Here’s more on the Jazz:

  • In addition to relaying Zanik’s comments about Snyder, Walden and Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune passed along several more of the most interesting quotes from the general manager’s Friday press conference. Notably, Zanik dismissed the idea that the interpersonal dynamics of Utah’s players – including Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert – are a concern. “They’ve given themselves to each other. And all the outside narratives is just a bunch of noise,” Zanik said. “Internally, I see it every day. These guys care about each other.” The GM also referred to Mitchell and Gobert as “foundational pieces.”
  • In a fascinating story for ESPN.com, Tim MacMahon takes a look at some of the steps the Jazz have taken to make sure Mitchell is comfortable in Utah and explains why multiple teams have been monitoring the situation closely in anticipation of the All-Star guard possibly asking to be traded. Within a story about the Knicks‘ ongoing interest in Mitchell, Marc Berman of The New York Post says league sources have speculated about the Heat being a potential landing spot for the 25-year-old.
  • As MacMahon outlines, Mitchell became the fourth player of 18 (at the time) who signed rookie scale extensions since the 2011 lockout to get a player option in his contract, and the first three (Paul George, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis) all pushed for trades before those deals expired. Some rival executives have also speculated that market size is important to Mitchell, says MacMahon, whose story is worth reading in full.
  • According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, if Danny Ainge and the Jazz want to seriously shake up their roster this summer, trading Gobert would be the most logical way to do it. Hollinger identifies some hypothetical trade partners if Utah decides to go that route, breaking down how a Gobert deal might work for the Hornets, Hawks, Raptors, Knicks, or Grizzlies.
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