Over the past few months, rumors have swirled around Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and their futures with the Utah Jazz. The team may have already fixed the issue between them before the 2019-20 NBA season restarted in Orlando, but there is still speculation that the Jazz may consider breaking their young superstar duo in the 2020 offseason. In a recent article, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report created a list of trades that could unleash potential superstars.
To unlock Mitchell’s full potential in Utah, Hughes believes that the Jazz should strongly consider trading Gobert to the Atlanta Hawks or the Chicago Bulls in the 2020 offseason.
“Mitchell posted career highs in points (24.0), assists (4.3) and rebounds (4.4) in 2019-20, making the All-Star Game for the first time. He’s almost impossible to stay in front of in isolation, and he’s shown flashes of advanced passing in tandem with a vast array of finishes in traffic. If he got increased reps in centerless lineups, it stands to reason he’d improve in both regards. He’s already on the verge of superstardom as it is, and removing Gobert from the equation could push Mitchell over the edge.”
As Hughes noted, parting ways with Gobert isn’t about making the Jazz a more competitive team in the 2020-21 NBA season but about “springboarding Mitchell to a new level.” Though Gobert has fully accepted the role as second fiddle in Utah, he’s clearly not the ideal superstar running mate for Mitchell. The separate deals that would send the French big man to Chicago or Atlanta would allow the Jazz to acquire players that would complement Mitchell and maximize his effectiveness on the court.
In the deal that would send Gobert to Atlanta, Utah could receive Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, and the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Meanwhile, in the suggested trade that would put him in Chicago, the Jazz could get a package that includes Coby White, Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young, and the No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming draft. Both scenarios make sense for Utah.
The Hawks trade would give the Jazz two reliable sharpshooters in Hunter and Huerter, who could open more driving lanes for Mitchell. The Bulls trade would enable the Jazz to replace Gobert with a floor-spacing big man in Markkanen and add a younger backcourt partner for Mitchell in White. Using the lottery selections from either the Hawks or the Bulls, the Jazz could add another talented prospect that would support the face of the franchise next year.