Report: The Jazz Plan To ‘Retool Around’ Donovan Mitchell After The Rudy Gobert Trade

Entering the offseason, the Utah Jazz stood at a pivot point in the trajectory of their franchise. Their loss in the first round to the Dallas Mavericks unearthed all their playoff demons of years past with inconsistent perimeter defense against a 5-out offensive system that neutralized Rudy Gobert. All season, a cloud of uncertainty hung over them highlighted by consistent rumors of locker room issues and the ongoing questions about Donovan Mitchell and Gobert’s relationship on and off the court. After five seasons without a conference finals appearance for the duo, this first round loss felt like the last nail in the coffin.

That’s why there was little surprise when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Gobert had been traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, and four first-round picks. The draft capital and lack of a high-end young player indicated a full rebuild could be on the way, while Victor Wembanyama, the prize of the 2023 NBA Draft, projects to be a generational player and one that is worthy of tanking an entire season.

Trading Mitchell could add to the war chest of assets the Jazz have already acquired from their trades this offseason. However, Wojnarowski went on to report that Utah will not tank, and instead, will retool its roster around Mitchell. That was echoed in additional reporting by Tony Jones of The Athletic.

Jazz general manager Danny Ainge does have the ammo to build a roster entirely around Mitchell, should he opt to go in that direction. Utah was due for a huge shakeup regardless of what happened with Gobert and Mitchell, so this may be just the first move for Ainge as the league waits for the remaining dominoes to fall this offseason.