As the Utah Jazz continue to be buffeted by the offseason rumor mill, scrutiny has fallen upon the future of stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Some NBA insiders believe the Jazz are resolved to break up the duo, and trade one away in order to stockpile assets that could help the team continue building toward a championship-caliber product on the court.
On the flip side, we've seen multiple reports rebutting the notion of the Jazz trading either Mitchell or Gobert, one of the most recent of which points to next year's All-Star game in Salt Lake City as the prime reason why owner Ryan Smith would be reluctant to rubber-stamp a trade.
What if the Jazz are resolved to deal one of their two stars, though? Sarah Todd of the Deseret News recently reported on the subject, pointing to Utah's three-time Defensive Player of the Year as the most likely to hit the bricks in the event of a trade.
"League sources have indicated that if the Jazz were going to part with one of their dual franchise players that it would probably be Gobert, but the Jazz could be looking to retain both players," Todd wrote.
It makes sense. But Todd cautions against counting the trade-Gobert chickens before they've hatched.
"A trade package for either Gobert or Mitchell would likely involve multiple players and future picks. But I wouldn’t get too used to the idea of the Jazz trading away one of the two just yet," she wrote.
Other names have been floated as likely trade pieces, such as Mike Conley, Bogan Bogdanovic, and Royce O'Neale. Whatever intrigue awaits Jazz fans, Occam's Razor would suggest that the most rational path forward for the team would be to keep the Mitchell/Gobert ticket intact and liquidate other valuable trade pieces that might help the team retool for a deeper run in next year's Western Conference playoffs.
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