Donovan Mitchell Claims He Told The Jazz To Not Trade Rudy Gobert This Offseason

The Utah Jazz moved the two cornerstones of their franchise this offseason. A few months back, Rudy Gobert was sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a monster haul of draft picks and young players, and at the beginning of September, a similarly gigantic package was sent to Utah by the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Donovan Mitchell’s services.

Utah’s stash of draft capital should be further bolstered by a few more trades, as veterans like Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley are believed to be available if the team’s asking price is met. It’s quite the pivot from the Jazz, which long tried to compete in the Western Conference but opted to blow things up this offseason, with team executive Danny Ainge saying it stemmed from the fact that Utah had “a group of players that really didn’t believe in each other.”

In an interview with Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Mitchell pushed back on that assertion. He even went as far as to say that, after the season, he expressed the desire for the franchise to run it back with himself and Gobert.

“I don’t think we didn’t believe [in each other],” Mitchell said to ESPN. “I said at the end of the season, don’t trade [Rudy Gobert]. Let’s figure this out, let’s do. And that didn’t happen. For him to say that after six months around the team, I disagree. But you know, at the end of the day, that’s his decision.”

Much has been made over the years of the relationship between Gobert and Mitchell, to the point that people wondered if there was anything to be made of how infrequently Mitchell passed the ball to Gobert.