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NBA Rumors: The Socio-Political Environment In Utah May Be Driving Force Behind Donovan Mitchell's Departure From Jazz

Brian Windhorst Says The Utah Jazz Want Donovan Mitchell To Be Traded Before Training Camp: "They're Trying To Juice The Offers, Especially From The New York Knicks."

While Donovan Mitchell is still technically a member of the Utah Jazz, it seems like only a matter of time before he's wearing a different jersey.

After years of heartbreak and disappointment, any star player would be frustrated with the situation in Utah. How can the team bounce back after so much struggle? What more can be done to succeed with the franchise?

But for Mitch, the whole thing goes much deeper than the team dynamic. The city and community itself may not be to his liking due to its particular social landscape.

(via Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune)

“Well, let’s start with this: the overwhelming feeling among league insiders is that Mitchell is likely to sign outside of Utah at the first available opportunity in 2025. Mitchell considers New York home. Mitchell has spent the majority of this offseason in New York this year. His skills trainer, Chris Brickley, operates out of a gym in the city. It makes sense that he’d be interested in living there full time.”

“There are sociopolitical issues in Utah, too. Donovan Mitchell has been outspoken about incidents of racism of Utah, especially when directed at kids. He spoke out against Utah’s critical race theory resolution, which earned him derision from Utah Senate president Stuart Adams.”

Utah has never been a prime destination for free agents, and this could be part of the reason why. That part of the country isn't nearly as diverse as other areas, and the political alignment of many of the fans, residents, and politicians in the area doesn't necessarily line up with the values the NBA, and their players have supported in recent years.

A place like New York City is, overall, objectively speaking, much more diverse and open to more progressive ideas.

Utah no doubt appeals to plenty of people around the country, and likely to some NBA players as well, but not so much to Mitchell, who is apparently already calling NYC his home.