Nothing lasts forever in the NBA, and for the Utah Jazz, their time as one of the better teams in the Western Conference has seemingly come to an end. They had at various points during this run seemed to be on the verge of perhaps breaking through, but it never materialized as postseason disappointment had, unfortunately, become the norm in Salt Lake City.
Their last two playoff exits, in particular, would have stung a whole lot. They were the number 1 seed in 2021 but lost in the Conference Semifinals to a Clippers team that was without Kawhi Leonard for the last couple of games. Then in 2022, they were knocked out by the Mavericks in the first round despite Luka Doncic missing the first few games, and the writing was on the wall. The first person headed to the exit door was Quin Snyder, who resigned as coach, and then came the big bombshell news last week of Rudy Gobert being traded to the Timberwolves.
Gobert was asked why he felt the team traded him away, and he opined that the Jazz felt their window of contention had passed. GM Justin Zanik agreed with Gobert's opinion and said they had fallen short in these past few years.
It was probably time to break it up as it didn't look like the team was going anywhere. They were, in a way, in the one place you don't want to be in the NBA, where you aren't good enough to be serious contenders but aren't bad enough to get good value from the draft.
The question now remains on what happens with Donovan Mitchell. The team isn't looking to trade him away, but they seem willing to entertain offers as Zanik stated that Mitchell isn't untouchable. These are some interesting times, and you have to wonder in Brian Windhorst-style, what's going on in Utah?