The Utah Jazz once again underperformed in the NBA playoffs, this time losing a big chance to advance to the second round against the Dallas Mavericks. The Texans started the series without Luka Doncic, who missed the first three games but still managed to stay competitive and dominate the Jazz.
In the end, they won the series 4-2, with Jalen Brunson and Doncic showing the way for the Mavs. After yet another early elimination for the Jazz, many people wonder what is going to happen with the team and their star duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
These two were expected to become the second version of John Stockton and Karl Malone, but things haven't worked so well for them. Now, everybody is trying to know what will happen with these players and the team, as they face big questions entering the offseason.
According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, Utah is set to build around Donovan Mitchell, but the situation isn't as clear with Gobert. The French big man has been linked with a move away from the Jazz, but the organization hasn't made a final decision on that yet.
Are the Jazz blowing it all up and tearing it down?
That isn’t the plan, according to several sources — at least initially. The Jazz, according to sources, are committed to building around Donovan Mitchell, which means taking a step back isn’t an option. Utah would like to keep climbing the mountain toward contention, and the Jazz feel like they still aren’t that far off, despite the disappointment of this season.
What you are probably going to see is the Jazz entering the offseason with almost every idea on the table. Mitchell should be considered the player most likely to remain with the team through the offseason. Everything else should be considered a question mark.
Rudy Gobert has not been mentioned? Why?
Gobert remains a pillar for the Utah organization. At the same time, there probably is more of a chance that he goes elsewhere than Mitchell. But, he is a tough case. He’s still one of the very best bigs in the league. He’s still one of the two best defenders in the NBA at absolute worst. Sources tell The Athletic that he is all in on the Jazz, doesn’t want to play anywhere else and would like to retire in a Jazz uniform. He’s had a terrific season. He’s very clearly still in the prime of his career.
At the same time, Gobert will be 30 in June. His contract is one of the most expensive in the league and could become burdensome if he experiences a drop-off in play over the next few seasons. The Jazz could opt to sell high on Gobert when he is still at peak value. There are multiple teams interested in trading for him, should the Jazz decide to go that route, according to multiple league sources.
There are many interesting options for the Jazz and Gobert. They could explore a trade for the Frenchman if they want to pair Mitchell with another star. However, Gobert's age and contract could be a major obstacle for Utah in their attempts to deal the 3x DPOY. Spida has also been linked with a move away, especially to New York, and that's something that could happen soon if he keeps failing in the postseason.
The Jazz have gotten used to becoming the best team in the regular season, only to crash in the playoff and miss big chances to have a deep run. They have a lot of questions to answer this offseason, and deciding to split up their duo will be one of the biggest.