Evan Bradds

Jazz Notes: Mitchell, Gobert Trade, Juzang, Bradds

Despite recently agreeing to trade All-Star center Rudy Gobert for a collection of veteran contracts and first-round draft picks in a deal sure to reduce their ceiling in the short term, the Jazz have indicated to inquiring teams that All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell isn’t available as a trade target, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link via ClutchPoints).

“They want to continue to build a roster around Donovan Mitchell,” Wojnarowski said of Utah’s front office. “They have shut down any team who has called about trying to trade for Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz are committed to moving forward with him as their cornerstone player.”

How much of this stance is merely a negotiating tactic remains to be seen. Marc Stein adds in a new Substack piece that, while he echoes Woj’s reporting that the Jazz are currently suggesting a disinterest in dealing away the 25-year-old All-NBA shooting guard, he expects that team CEO Danny Ainge would have the blessing of ownership to move Mitchell in the future.

Around rival executives, however, teams remain optimistic that Mitchell could be had for the right price.

There’s more out of Utah:

  • As a result of the aforementioned Rudy Gobert deal, the Jazz have added several promising young current and future players, writes Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News. Auburn big man Walker Kessler, the No. 22 in the 2022 NBA draft, will arrive in Utah with potentially a more outsized role than had been anticipated for him with the Timberwolves.
  • Jazz Summer League wing Johnny Juzang is being held out of a team practice today following a car accident on Saturday, according to Eric Walden of the Salt Laker Tribune (Twitter link). Juzang, a former UCLA swingman who went undrafted in 2022, is set to join Jazz on a two-way deal.
  • NBA veteran Tacko Fall, currently playing on the Jazz’s Summer League team, informs Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link) that Evan Bradds, formerly a Player Enhancement Staff member with the Celtics, has been hired as an assistant coach under new Jazz head coach Will Hardy.

Central Notes: Pistons, Valentine, Bucks, Pacers

Having remained at No. 12 after Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, the Pistons are scouting a wide range of prospects and won’t necessarily target a player at a position of need next month, per GM Jeff Bower (link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News). As Bower explained, a player’s value and long-term potential may make him the best pick for Detroit, even if he doesn’t immediately fit into the team’s rotation.

Our list of draft picks by team shows that the Pistons’ 12th overall selection is currently their only pick in this year’s draft. That could make it difficult for the club to bring in second-round prospects for workouts, but Bower remains hopeful that those players will be willing to audition for the team, recognizing that they could be undrafted free agents, or that the Pistons could acquire a second-round pick.

“Some guys aren’t going to want to come in and work out if they don’t see a vehicle at the end of it,” said the Pistons’ GM. “The reality of it is we are looking for guys where we don’t have a second-round pick now — we could (via a trade) — but those possibilities change, so you want to try to be prepared. … Our relationships with agents are strong. They like our program and like their guys to have the exposure to us.”

Here’s more from around the Central division: