Jazz Rumors

NBA Plans To Launch Players-Only 2K Tournament

12:07pm: The Boardroom has provided a full list of the 16 participants in the tournament, along with the first-round matchups (Twitter link). Devin Booker (Suns), Trae Young (Hawks), and Zach LaVine (Bulls) are among the other stars set to take part in the event.

11:19am: With no NBA games expected to happen on the court anytime soon, the league is setting up a virtual tournament in an attempt to sate fans’ appetite for basketball, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

According to Haynes, the league intends to launch an NBA 2K tournament that will feature NBA players competing against one another. The goal is to begin the 10-day event this Friday, though the league is still working out and finalizing the details, sources tell Haynes. The tournament would be broadcast on ESPN.

Nets star Kevin Durant, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, and free agent big man DeMarcus Cousins are among the 16 players expected to participate, per Haynes.

Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel had previously tweeted that Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside and Heat swingman Derrick Jones were among the players set to play in an NBA 2K20 Players Tournament in April. That info appears to be based on an announcement from the NBPA, which was quickly deleted. Jeff Garcia of Spurs Zone (via Twitter) shares the full list of participants the NBPA identified in that premature release.

According to Winderman, the tournament is expected to have a $100K prize for charity.

Ingles Would Leave NBA For Son If Necessary

  • Jazz wing Joe Ingles, who tested negative for COVID-19, notes that he’d be willing to walk away from the NBA if he needed to do so to protect his three-year-old son Jacob, who is more at risk due to his autism, per The Athletic’s Sam Amick. “If you had to tell me that you could never play again to protect Jacob from this,” Ingles said, “I would walk away, fly to Australia and never play another game in my life and be very content with it.”

Jazz Stars Gobert, Mitchell Cleared Of Coronavirus

The Jazz issued a statement today announcing that all their players and staff have been cleared by the Utah Department of Health after completing their two-week self-isolation periods, as Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune relays.

“The Utah Department of Health has determined that all Jazz players and staff, regardless of prior testing status, no longer pose a risk of infection to others,” the team said in the statement.

That means that All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, who each tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, have now been cleared, as Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter).

Gobert, Mitchell, and Pistons big man Christian Wood – the first three NBA players known to have been affected by COVID-19 – have now all been medically cleared and are no longer carrying the virus.

While we’re likely to see more coronavirus cases affecting NBA players and personnel in the coming weeks, it’s good news that several of those who were first diagnosed have come out the other side and made full recoveries.

Tony Jones Expects Mitchell To Sign Max Extension With Jazz

  • Within a Jazz mailbag, Tony Jones of The Athletic expresses confidence that Donovan Mitchell will sign a maximum-salary rookie scale extension before the 2020/21 season begins. Mitchell, who will be extension-eligible for the first time this offseason, would become a restricted free agent in 2021 if he doesn’t re-up with Utah before then.

Dotson Expected To Draw Interest From Jazz, Bucks, Warriors

The Jazz, Bucks, and Warriors are among the teams expected to show interest in Damyean Dotson when he becomes a free agent this offseason, sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Dotson, who will turn 26 in May, has spent his first three NBA seasons with the Knicks, appearing in 165 games and averaging 7.8 PPG on .419/.361/.721 shooting in 20.1 minutes per contest. Because he only has three years of experience, he can be made a restricted free agent at season’s end if the Knicks give him a qualifying offer worth just over $2MM.

However, as Berman notes, it’s unclear whether New York will make an effort to re-sign Dotson to a new deal. The new management group isn’t the one that drafted him, and he had fallen out of the rotation prior to the NBA’s hiatus, appearing in just one of the Knicks’ last nine games.

“That seemed (to be) the writing on the wall,” one NBA scout told Berman. “You’d think they’d be still trying to develop him.”

Former Knicks head coach David Fizdale, who lauded Dotson’s “work ethic, leadership qualities, and toughness,” also praised the youngster’s willingness to be coached and expressed to Berman that the 6’5″ wing has a promising NBA future.

“He’s a game shooter and improved his handle and as a finisher,” Fizdale said. “He’s a good rebounding guard, but he still has to improve defensive awareness on the weak side. Overall he’s a solid NBA player.”

Coronavirus Notes: Schedule, Testing, Jazz, Satoransky

If the NBA season is completed late in the summer, it could have long-term implications on the league schedule, Mike Singer of the Denver Post opines. If the playoffs are conducted in July and August, there is no chance that NBA training camps would open in late September, Singer notes. Hawks CEO Steve Koonin’s suggestion prior to the suspension of play that the league calendar should shift to a December-August format could become a reality, at least for one season.

We have more coronavirus-related news:

  • The ease in which NBA teams had access to tests compared to the general public was a bad look for the league, Dan Wolken of USA Today writes. Franchises should use their vast resources and influence to get others tested, rather than asymptomatic NBA players, Wolken argues.
  • Jazz owner Gail Miller and her family will “more than match” the $200K donation that Gobert has pledged to Vivint Arena and Jazz part-time employees, per Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. Gobert and numerous other NBA players have made similar donations to arena workers.
  • Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky is pessimistic about the resumption of the NBA season and wants to return to Europe, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago relays. In a recent interview with NOVA Sports, he said, “It is not pleasant to stay here and watch the team owners try to finish the league in order not to lose so much money. It is not very pleasant, perhaps because we would like to travel to the Czech Republic with my wife and daughter. We perceive the situation logically as Europeans. We perceive that all the right measures are already in place in the Czech Republic, and we think that in the USA, it will only get worse and worse.

Can Mitchell, Gobert Mend Relationship?

The Jazz are hopeful that time will heal the fractured relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, Tony Jones of The Athletic reports. This could be the biggest challenge for Jazz coach Quin Snyder and the front office in recent years, Jones continues, with Gobert having one year remaining on his contract and Mitchell potentially headed to restricted free agency after next season. Mitchell has been frustrated with Gobert for his careless actions prior to both testing positive for the coronavirus, Jones confirms.

Heat, Wolves Among Latest To Provide Aid To Arena Workers

The Heat and AmericanAirlines Arena announced on Wednesday that they’ll be providing financial assistance to team and arena part-time staffers who have lost work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Heat owner Micky Arison‘s foundation will be donating an additional $1MM to establish an initiative aimed at aiding employees and addressing other community needs in the coming months, Winderman adds.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor also announced this week that he’s pledging $1MM of relief to part-time workers at the Target Center, as Chris Hine of The Star Tribune details.

Miami and Minnesota join most of the rest of the NBA’s teams in having announced plans to assist their part-time arena workers displaced by the hiatus. A small handful of clubs, including the Jazz and Thunder, have yet to announce a formal plan or confirm that plans are in motion, but that isn’t to say that those teams won’t implement a program as well.

As Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune writes, Jazz center Rudy Gobert pledged $200K to part-time arena employees in Utah, but the team has yet to inform its 800+ part-time workers how that donation will be used or whether the franchise itself will be compensating its arena employees for lost games in any way — currently, staffers are only being paid for events they actually worked, according to Larsen, who notes that the Jazz ownership group seems “focused on job placement for their part-time employees, rather than subsidies.”

Where Traded Draft Picks Would Land If Season Doesn’t Resume

Earlier today, we explored what the lottery odds for the 2020 NBA draft would look like if the regular season doesn’t resume. We’re now applying that hypothetical to another aspect of the draft and examining which traded 2020 picks would and wouldn’t change hands based on the current standings.

Our projections below assume that the NBA will sort its standings by winning percentage in scenarios where teams haven’t played the same number of games this season. Again, this is just a hypothetical exercise — if the season resumes, the order below would likely change.

With that in mind and with the help of our reverse standings, let’s take a closer look at where this year’s traded draft picks would land if the NBA has played its last regular season game of 2019/20.

First round:

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nets)
  2. Boston Celtics (from Grizzlies)
  3. Brooklyn Nets (from Sixers)
    • Note: Could be No. 20 depending on random tiebreaker.
  4. Milwaukee Bucks (from Pacers)
    • Note: Could be No. 19 depending on random tiebreaker.
  5. Philadelphia 76ers (from Thunder)
    • Note: Could be No. 22 depending on random tiebreaker.
  6. Denver Nuggets (from Rockets)
    • Note: Could be No. 21 depending on random tiebreaker.
  7. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nuggets)
  8. New York Knicks (from Clippers)
  9. Boston Celtics (from Bucks)

Protected picks:

  • Golden State Warriors (to Nets; top-20 protected)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (to Pelicans; top-20 protected)
  • Utah Jazz (to Grizzlies; top-7 and 15-30 protected)


  • The Thunder pick would be the one worth watching closest if the season does resume. It’s top-20 protected, so OKC would keep it if it were to move up a spot or two, sending the Sixers second-round picks in 2022 and 2023 instead.

Second round:

  1. Dallas Mavericks (from Warriors)
  2. Charlotte Hornets (from Cavaliers)
  3. Philadelphia 76ers (from Hawks)
  4. Sacramento Kings (from Pistons)
  5. Philadelphia 76ers (from Knicks)
  6. Washington Wizards (from Bulls)
  7. New York Knicks (from Hornets)
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Wizards)
  9. Memphis Grizzlies (from Suns)
  10. Boston Celtics (from Nets)
  11. Chicago Bulls (from Grizzlies)
  12. Golden State Warriors (from Mavericks)
  13. Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)
    • Note: Could be No. 51 depending on random tiebreaker.
  14. Sacramento Kings (from Heat)
  15. Golden State Warriors (from Jazz)
  16. Brooklyn Nets (from Nuggets)
  17. Charlotte Hornets (from Celtics)
  18. Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers)
  19. New Orleans Pelicans (from Bucks)

Protected picks:

  • Indiana Pacers (to Nets; 45-60 protected)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (to Nets; top-55 protected)


  • The Hawks will receive the more favorable of Houston’s and Miami’s second-round picks, while the Kings will receive the less favorable of those two picks. Those two picks could end up right next to one another, since the Rockets (40-24) and Heat (41-24) have nearly identical records.
  • The Celtics’ pick looks like it will be one of the rare second-rounders with heavy protection that will actually change hands. Boston would have kept it if it had fallen in the top 53.

Mitchell On Relationship With Gobert: “It Took Me A While To Cool Off”

Appearing on Good Morning America on Monday (hat tip to Scott Gleeson of USA Today), Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell essentially confirmed the reports that had suggested he was frustrated with teammate Rudy Gobert for the big man’s cavalier attitude toward the coronavirus before he tested positive.

“To be honest, it took a while for me to cool off.” Mitchell said when asked directly by host Robin Roberts about where things stood with Gobert (video link). “I read what he said and I heard what he said, so I’m glad he’s doing okay.”

[RELATED: Gobert Donates $500K To Arena Workers, Coronavirus-Related Services]

Although we don’t know with certainty whether Gobert or Mitchell contracted the virus first, or even whether one player got it from the other, the Jazz center faced criticism for not taking the threat seriously and touching others’ belongings at a media session and in the locker room last week.

Mitchell, who said he hasn’t exhibited any of the symptoms typically associated with COVID-19, expressed relief that he and Gobert were the only members of the Jazz to test positive. Following Gobert’s diagnosis, the team’s entire traveling party was tested for the virus. Mitchell was the only one of 58 Utah players and personnel whose test didn’t come back negative.

“I’m just really happy, to be honest – I hate to say that it’s just two of us – but that it wasn’t the whole party,” Mitchell said. “Neither (Gobert) or I have children at home. I know I have some teammates that have children, some staff have children at home. So I’m glad we were able to kind of contain it as much as possible.”

The All-Star guard, who told Roberts that he’s playing plenty of NBA 2K, watching movies, and watching his old highlights while he’s self-quarantined, will also be helping local students get healthy meals at no charge while schools are closed, per a press release from the Jazz.