A Utah Jazz executive says the Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell relationship is ready to “move forward.” The relationship between the stars has been fractures since March when Gobert and Mitchell both tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert was reportedly behaving very irresponsibly in light of the virus by touching teammates items, the microphones of the Utah media jokingly. Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive. The next day Mitchell tested positive as well. It’s been reported that Mitchell was extremely frustrated by Gobert’s carelessness. SI’s Chris Mannix tells Robin Lundberg the big question for the Jazz is can the two stars co-exist.
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Robin Lundberg: Jazz Donovan, Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are moving forward. And for more, I'm joined by senior writer Chris Mannix now. Chris, I think everybody should forgive. Gobert. I mean, it feels like he put us here, but he just made a mistake. But it's a little different when you have, you know, what took place between he and his teammate.
Chris Mannix: Yeah. Dennis Lindsey, the top executive in Utah, tried to downplay any kind of rift between Gobert and Mitchell's still existing. He said they'd been in regular contact. The two of them have spoken to ownership. The two of them spoke to management. Obviously, they've been in touch with the coaching staff. And as a group, they've been participating in Zoom workouts and Zoom meetings. So they have continued to kind of try to rebuild that camaraderie. The question moving forward is can Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert coexist long term after all this? And quite frankly, that's really not something that we're going to know for several months down the line, maybe into somewhere in next season where the jazz might have to make a decision. Do you keep Rudy Gobert? Who's entering the last year of his contract or do you trade him in the hopes of building around somebody else?
Robin Lundberg: That's really the only move they could conceivably make, right? Obviously, Mitchell is going gonna be there a long time.
Chris Mannix: Yeah. Mitchell is eligible for an extension after this season. Look, he'll get a five year or opt for a four-year max level extension that will go on to his contract. That's a no brainer for the jazz. Go bear. He could be another story. Twenty seven years old. He'll be twenty-eight in June. Obviously the jazz want to keep him. But if there's any type of friction between these two guys, Mitchell is the man with that organization. So a lot of ways Donovan Mitchell carries a lot of power when it comes to the future of the relationship between Mitchell and Gobert
Robin Lundberg: Appreciate your time and insight, as always.
Chris Mannix: You got it.
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