Despite recently trading All-Star center Rudy Gobert for a collection of veteran contracts and first-round draft picks in a deal sure to make them worse in the short-term, the Jazz have indicated to inquiring teams that All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell may not be 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 the team’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 will have the blessing of ownership to ship out Mitchell in the future.
Around rival executives, however, teams remain optimistic that Mitchell could be on the move 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.