For the third year in a row, the Utah Jazz have exited the NBA playoffs in disappointing fashion. This time, the result was a first round exit. A loss to the Dallas Mavericks in a series where Luka Doncic was hurt a good portion of the time. As a result, it seems as if the Jazz are at a crossroads. Do they continue with their current core or do they decide to make some drastic trades? Well, reports are swirling about potential dissent between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. It is worth analyzing and determining whether or not the Jazz can actually win with these two as their star duo.
Utah Jazz: Time to Choose Sides?
The jury is still out on whether or not the report is true. However, often times, where there is smoke, there is fire. On May 2nd, Sean O’Connell put out a very interesting tweet. In his tweet, he states “I know I am not usually Utah Jazz breaking news guy, but a source close to situation has informed me that Rudy Gobert is at ‘him or me’ point with Donovan Mitchell and will demand that one of them be traded in next few days. Doesn’t feel they will win championship together.”
Rudy Gobert later had a tweet saying “Everyday has it’s own new “rumor”.” Gobert may deny it, but the past few months have seen the former Defensive Player of the Year take veiled shots at his teammates for their defensive intensity and many have also seen the relationship of Gobert and Mitchell start the fracture throughout the course of the season.
Utah Jazz: What Has Their Duo Accomplished?
The star duo of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell has had a ton of regular season success. The Jazz have been a consistent fixture in the top five of the Western Conference playoff picture for consecutive years. However, it is the postseason where they always hit a wall. In the NBA Bubble, they blew a 3-1 lead in the first round to the Denver Nuggets. Then, the Jazz were unable to capitalize on Kawhi Leonard going down with injury last season for a chance to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The latest blunder of course was losing to the Dallas Mavericks this season as alluded to already.
Individually, Mitchell and Gobert have had a ton of success. The two combine for six All-Star appearances. Of course, Gobert has won a couple of Defensive Player of the Years and has also netted himself a blocked-shots title. As for Mitchell, he made the All-Rookie Team his rookie season and is widely considered one of the best young shooting guards in the NBA.
Will They Keep Both All-Stars?
With everything that has transpired the past few years, it is difficult to envision Utah running it back with the same squad. Even without the potential dissent between Gobert and Mitchell out of the equation, the playoff failures are cause enough for concern. With all of this in mind, the offseason is going to put enormous pressure the Utah Jazz to trade one of their All-Stars. The Jazz have been great in the regular season the past few years. However, it is all for naught if they cannot break through in the playoffs.