Following weeks of rumors suggesting that Utah Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert haven’t been getting along well since they both tested positive for coronavirus, the latest update on the duo suggests that the organization does not have any plans to trade either one of them.
Citing a new report from The Athletic‘s Tony Jones, Bleacher Report wrote on Monday that the Jazz aren’t inclined to move Mitchell because he is on the “list of the most untouchable players in the league,” aside from being a highly talented player who has done a lot for Utah fans. Similarly, Jones was quoted as saying that the Jazz have “built their entire identity” on defense around the 7-foot-1-inch Gobert, hence their reluctance to trade the French center at the moment.
Before news of Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test resulted in the NBA’s decision on March 11 to suspend the 2019-20 season indefinitely, the Jazz were at fourth place in the Western Conference with a 41-23 record, largely thanks to Mitchell and Gobert’s play. Mitchell, who played in his first All-Star Game in February, was averaging a career-best 24.2 points at the time of the league’s hiatus, while Gobert was producing 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds and two blocks per game, and once again standing out as one of the league’s best defensive big men.
— NBA (@NBA) November 12, 2019
As pointed out by Bleacher Report, Gobert’s COVID-19 diagnosis was soon followed by allegations that he had been “careless” in his dealings with teammates and had put them at further risk of contracting the disease by also touching their belongings. As for Mitchell, who tested positive days after Gobert did, the outlet cited an earlier report from The Athletic which claimed on April 10 that the shooting guard was “reluctant” to mend his relationship with Gobert, which was further described as potentially unsalvageable.
With both players having since recovered, newer reports have suggested that they have seemingly been working on mending their relationship. Gobert recently admitted to Bleacher Report‘s Taylor Rooks that he and Mitchell “didn’t speak much” during their alleged rift but are now at a point where their relationship is “great.” Around the same time, Yahoo Sports‘ Chris Haynes tweeted that the fact Mitchell and Gobert are talking again is a sign that they’re “turning the page” and moving on from their past issues.
Despite those encouraging reports, the past few weeks have seen numerous trade ideas pop up, suggesting moves that could help the Jazz if they need to break up their All-Star duo. One such idea suggested that the Dallas Mavericks could acquire Gobert for a trade package featuring guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and big man Dwight Powell, thus allowing the team to form an “all-Euro Big Three” with Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic.