The Utah Jazz said they have no intentions of trading Donovan Mitchell, but they are taking trade offers for three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. The Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Phoenix Suns are interested in a potential trade for Gobert.
Gobert is one of the premier rim protectors in the NBA and he averaged 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.2 blocked shots per game over his nine-season career with the Utah Jazz. Last season Gobert scored 15.6 ppg and set a career high hauling down 14.7 rebounds per game. He also shot an eye-popping 71.3% from the floor.
The problem is that Gobert is not cheap and that teammates quickly grow tired of his antics. He will earn over $42 million a season with four years remaining on his contract.
It’s been a tumultuous couple of days for the Jazz after head coach Quin Snyder stepped down over the weekend. While the Jazz scramble to find a new head coach, there have been rampant rumors that Mitchell wants the Jazz to trade him to the New York Knicks. However, the Jazz were quick to dismiss any trade talk involving their All-Star guard. The Jazz want to keep Mitchell, but they’re willing to trade Gobert.
Beef: Gobert and Mitchell
In March of 2022, Gobert became the first player in the NBA to test positive for COVID-19. The NBA quickly suspended play, and other major sports quickly followed suit including the NHL and March Madness.
Gobert and Mitchell had a well-publicized falling out. Depending on who you talk to, Mitchell catching COVID from Gobert was the source of their feud. Other suggest that the two had a beef well before COVID shut down the NBA.
Gobert acknowledged that not everyone likes his brash personality and how he treats teammates. The word “asshole” has been thrown around a lot, and Mitchell is not the only member of the Jazz who had problems with Gobert. Teams can tolerate an abrasive player so long as they’re winning.
However, in the second half of the season, the poor chemistry infected the locker room as the Jazz began their downward spiral. Word got out that Mitchell refused to pass to Gobert, and multiple videos by well-known content creators popped up proving the claim.
It was only a matter of time before the Jazz split up. Midway through the season, the Mitchell to Knicks rumors surfaced, and Snyder’s name came up as the potential next head coach of the LA Lakers.
If the Jazz want to reboot, they’d rather rebuild a team around Mitchell, which is why Gobert is being shopped in a trade.
Bulls, Suns, Griz, Raptors Eye Gobert
The current chatter involves the Chicago Bulls eyeing a trade for Gobert. They have a strong one-two scoring punch with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, but need a defensive-minded center. Gobert and the Bulls could be a good fit, but the Bulls would have to part ways with Nikola Vucevic and Patrick Williams if they want to work out a trade.
The Toronto Raptors need a center. The Jazz could trade Gobert to the Raptors in exchange for an disgruntled OG Anunoby, Gary Trent, and a first-round draft pick.
The Phoenix Suns are reluctant to give center Deandre Ayton a max contract, but they could work out a sign-and-trade for Gobert.
The Memphis Grizzlies have a bright future, but they need a few tweaks especially on defense. Steven Adams fell out of Taylor Jenkins’ rotation in the postseason because of his less-than-stellar defense. The Grizzlies are loaded with talented young players like Dillon Brooks and Xavier Tillman that they can package with Adams in a trade for Gobert.
The Charlotte Hornets are another team on the upswing, but they had a porous defense. Gobert will provide the Hornets with a true rim protector. Gordon Hayward said he wants out of Buzz City next season, and the former member of the Jazz could return to his old team in a trade involving Gobert.
The Atlanta Hawks have to make a decision about an unhappy John Collins, but they could trade him and/or Clint Capela to the Jazz for Gobert.
The Lakers are desperate to ditch Russell Westbrook, but will the Jazz be foolish enough to trade away Gobert and one headache for another with Westbrook?
Check out more NBA Trade Rumors.