A recent report of a retired MMA fighter turned broadcaster, claiming that Rudy Gobert will ask the Utah Jazz exchange it or Donovan Mitchell in the coming days, has yet to be substantiated, but it wouldn’t be a surprise for the franchise to come to that conclusion first, as they missed out on another winnable playoff series.
Gobert is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and Mitchell a three-time All-Star. Small-market teams rarely want to part ways with either, especially when they’ve won nearly two-thirds of their regular-season games together over the past four seasons and are both under contract. for at least three more seasons.
Except they’ve also won just one playoff series in that span, losing last year to Kawhi Leonard without Los Angeles Clippers and this year to a Dallas Mavericks missing team Luka Doncic for half of their six games.
No amount of movement around them has brought them closer to a championship. It doesn’t help that Gobert and Mitchell passively fired shots at each other in the middle reports that they aggressively don’t love each other. It’s time to choose between them, and newly hired executive Danny Ainge is the right man to do it.
Gobert and Mitchell should hold considerable value in the open market, but that value is lower than it might have been in past offseasons. Gobert is nearing 30 and has yet to prove he can be a difference-maker against more malleable playoff offenses. Mitchell’s defense became the guard for the Mavericks Jalen Brunson into a superstar, and he’s more of a singular offensive force than a team playmaker.
Ainge doesn’t like losing trades, but rivals will offer lesser offers if a trade request is formalized. That said, here’s a look at the teams that should be interested in Utah’s two stars and the kind of trade packages they could offer to either give or take a marginal player upgrade or an additional draft pick. or two.
The Rudy Gobert trade market
• Reason for being Jazz: Gobert’s demotion to Capela is worth acquiring Huerter – a worthy Joe Ingles replacement with a higher cap – and another first-round pick to go in search of additional upgrades.
• Hawks rationale: Trae young needs as much defensive help as possible.
• Commercial offer: Ben Simmons and two first-round picks
• Reason for being Jazz: Dramatically improve defensive versatility with a 26-year-old who finished second to Gobert in the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year race, up the tempo of an offense stuck in the mud, and secure the picks of a combustible franchise to mitigate the risk of play on Simmons’ availability.
• Justification of mosquito nets: Defense needs an individual solution, capable of erasing countless mistakes from a porous perimeter cohort, and think of all the on-screen aids Gobert can set for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
• Reason for being Jazz: You could do worse to address your depth than add a 20 ppg scorer, a 23-year-old forward and a first-round pick from a team that has won three playoff games in 20 years.
• Hornet justification: Rim protection and a lob threat to LaMelo Ball.
• Commercial offer: Nikola Vucevic, Patrick Williams and two first-round picks
• Jazz reasoning: Fully embrace the 3-point revolution and aim for 50 points per game. Vucevic will test the limits of the replacement-level defense in Gobert’s absence, but Williams offers some versatility and a huge upside, and two future Bulls picks could be worth a lot if their latest experience goes south.
• Justification of bulls: No Eastern Conference team has allowed a higher field goal percentage on the rim.
Jazz reasoning: Provide Mitchell with a replacement pick-and-roll partner, add a 3-and-D wing, extend their depth of fire, stockpile draft capital, and save up to $116 million over the life of Gobert’s contract.
Reason for being Mavericks: Gobert is everything they’ve ever wanted from Porzingis, and that includes less demand for any offensive touches outside of lobs and snaps. Just do the dirty work for Luka Doncic.
Commercial offer: Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk, Killian Hayes and a first-round pick
Jazz reasoning: Try to tick all the boxes – all-around wing, stretch five, draft lottery and potential high pick.
Justification of the pistons: Give a young team still figuring out their offensive ceiling a chance to win with defense.
Golden State Warriors
• Commercial offer: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman and a first-round pick
• Jazz reasoning: A 27-year-old All-Star and No. 2 overall 40 games into his career is real value for a 30-year-old one-dimensional center, especially if you think Wiseman can still be a two-way star.
• Warrior Vindication: They have the staff to play short ball with Gobert on the bench, and adding one of the best defensive players of his generation as a luxury alongside Draymond Green is a Light years flex.
Los Angeles Clippers
Commercial offer: Ivica Zubac, Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris and a first-round pick
Jazz reasoning: Swap Gobert for Zubac, adding shooting and toughness in the process.
Clippers Purpose: A healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George need a bit more on offense than someone to create space with his scouting, and just imagine a defense with those three spreading their wings.
• Commercial offer: Steven Adams, De’Anthony Melton, Brandon Clarke and a first-round pick
• Jazz reasoning: Replace much of what Gobert provides. Add versatility in the frontcourt and depth in the backcourt.
• Grizzly Bear Rationale: Good luck scoring against Gobert and Jaren Jackson Jr.
Portland Trail Blazers
Trade offer: Eric Bledsoe, Anfernee Simons and a first-round pick
Jazz reasoning: Fully unlock Simons’ star potential and add a franchise choice with an uncertain future.
Rationale for blazers: Give Damian Lillard the defensive backbone his team desperately needs.
• Commercial offer: Kristaps Porzingis, Deni Avdija and two first-round picks
• Jazz reasoning: Believe in the untapped potential of Porzingis and Avdija and trust Washington’s futility.
• Justification of the assistants: Try not to be a bad defensive team for once.
Donovan Mitchell’s Commercial Market
Commercial offer: Marcus Smart, Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis and two first-round picks
Jazz reasoning: Pair the league’s best perimeter defender with their best rim protector and worry about building a capable offense around them with the extra draft capital you just hoarded.
Celtics rationale: Cement the roster with a third young star who has already struck up a relationship with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in Team USA, unless Smart wins a title with them this season.
Commercial offer: Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte and two first-round picks
Jazz reasoning: Nothing sexy here except for a revamped backcourt that’s unlikely to feud with Gobert and a few picks that are guaranteed to be worth considering Indiana’s history in the NBA midfield.
Rationale for pacemakers: They’re desperate to land a bankable star, and by pairing Mitchell with midseason trade acquisition Tyrese Haliburton, they could have two that complement each other in the same backcourt.
Commercial offer: Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin
Jazz reasoning: A 22-year-old Sixth Man of the Year, one of the best 3-point shooters in the game, and an underrated 3-and-D wing for Mitchell seems about as fair a trade as you could find on the market.
Justification of the heat: Robinson can’t come off the bench in the playoffs, and they find players like Martin regularly, so why not bet Mitchell’s cap is higher than Herro’s when that’s been a safe bet so far .
New Orleans Pelicans
Commercial offer: CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy and two first-round picks
Jazz reasoning: There’s little Mitchell can give them that McCollum can’t, plus they’d add a 21-year-old winger who recorded true playoff minutes as a rookie and two first-round picks from a volatile team.
New York Knicks
Commercial offer: RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Derrick Rose and a first-round pick
Jazz reasoning: Bet on your ability to develop Barrett and Toppin better than Knicks and take their pick.
Knicks rationale: Anything for a proven star who can give Madison Square Garden 40 points any night.
San Antonio Spurs
Trade offer: Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker IV, Doug McDermott and a first-round pick
Jazz reasoning: There are worse ways to invest than putting shares in a pair of players who won Spurs’ trust before their 24th birthday, and the picks are a safeguard against their lack of development.
Rationale for spurs: Get the dollar for four quarters. Rename the Spurs face, maximize what Mitchell does best and let Dejounte Murray do the rest in what could be a devastating backcourt combination.
Trade offer: De’Aaron Fox and a first-round pick
Jazz reasoning: Swapping your fringe All-NBA guard for their fringe All-Star and adding a pick from the most mismanaged organization in the league is just when Fox in a new environment might be worth the shot on its own.
justification of kings: You’ve seen Fox’s ceiling in Sacramento, and it can’t be worse than the magic you might find pairing Donovan with Davion Mitchell on a team that just acquired Domantas Sabonis.
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