Following the Game 6 loss to Dallas that ended their season on Thursday night, the Jazz face an offseason of potential change. Asked after the game about what the future looks like, center Rudy Gobert and guard Jordan Clarkson both expressed a desire to remain in Utah, but acknowledged that decision could be out of their control, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter links).
While forward Royce O’Neale asserted that “this group wants to stay together,” Gobert expressed uncertainty when he was asked whether the current roster has reached its ceiling (Twitter links via Walden).
“I don’t know,” Gobert said. “We have a lot of talent. This year we faced more adversity. I feel like we could be so much better. … You try to ask yourself why we can’t be consistent.”
As for star guard Donovan Mitchell, he said yes when he was asked after the game whether he wants to stick with the Jazz, writes Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. When he was later asked to address speculation about the possibility of him eventually asking for a trade, Mitchell was less equivocal, but gave no indication that such a request is on his mind in the short term.
“My mindset is to win,” he said. “Right now, I’m not really looking at that. I answered (the first) question, and you could take that. But for me, I just want to win, yo. Like, this hurts. And like I said, I’ll think about it in a week and go from there. But right now, I’m not thinking at all about that.”
Here’s more on the Jazz:
- Tony Jones of The Athletic expects significant roster changes in Utah this summer, writing that at least one starter will likely be playing elsewhere next season. However, he hears from sources that the Jazz are committed to building around Mitchell and don’t plan to fully blow up the roster. If the team is open to trading Gobert, there are multiple teams that would be interested, but sources tell Jones that the three-time Defensive player of the Year remains “all in” on the Jazz and would like to spend the rest of his career with the organization.
- Within the same story, Jones says that Quin Snyder‘s future will be determined one way or the other in “the coming days and weeks.” Sources tell The Athletic that Utah’s front office has been happy with the job Snyder has done and that he hasn’t lost the locker room, so if a coaching change occurs, Snyder may be the one instigating it.
- In his offseason preview for the Jazz, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) argues that the team should remain focused on building around Mitchell and Gobert rather than breaking them up. While Utah has been hurt by small-ball lineups in playoff series in recent years, Marks says that’s more an indictment of the club’s perimeter defense than of Gobert.
- Even before Utah’s Game 6 loss on Thursday, Zach Kram of The Ringer contended that it was time for the franchise to admit its roster shortcomings and prepare to shake things up this summer. Kram explores whether it would be in the Jazz’s best interests to consider trading Gobert or Mitchell — or even both.