Utah Jazz now willing to listen to Donovan Mitchell trade scenarios

After the Utah Jazz earlier dropped investigations into All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, opposing teams say they are now ready to listen to potential trading scenarios, sources told ESPN Tuesday.

The asking price seems high, but following Utah’s recent blockbuster deal from Rudy Gobert to Minnesota, the Jazz are no longer simply turning down calls to Mitchell, sources said.

Jazz general manager Justin Zanik alluded to the possibility during a Saturday news conference when asked if Mitchell would be considered untouchable in trade talks.

“Change is inevitable in the NBA,” said Zanik. “I’m not trying to be cryptic or anything else, but Donovan is on our list and he’s a very, very important part of what we’re trying to do. Things evolve in the NBA, so I couldn’t sit here and say someone is [untouchable]. We’re trying to build a championship team, but there’s no intention [to trade Mitchell]at all.”

The Jazz are also open to roster-wide trades, but Mitchell is certainly the organization’s most valuable and desirable player.

Mitchell, 25, has averaged 23.9 points and 4.5 assists per game during his five-year career with the Jazz and has been an All-Star for each of the past three seasons. He has four years and $134.9 million left on the maximum extension he signed in the 2020 offseason, but final season is a $37.1 million player option.

Utah has advanced to the playoffs, the longest current streak in the Western Conference, for the past six seasons, but the Jazz have not progressed past the second round in that span. The organization has seen major changes following this year’s first-round elimination against the Dallas Mavericks, including the resignation of head coach Quin Snyder, the hiring of Will Hardy as a backup, and the addition of Gobert and starting forward Royce O’Neale.

“This season hasn’t been very fun this year,” Jazz CEO Danny Ainge said Saturday. “This draft wasn’t fun. Free agency wasn’t very fun. You’re over the controls, no draft picks, and our team loses in the first round. We didn’t enjoy it. We want it to be fun for our fans and our players, but we just haven’t had a lot of flexibility to do anything lately.”

Ainge and Zanik agreed with Gobert’s assessment after he was traded to Minnesota that the Utah win-now window was closed. The Jazz’s haul on the deal was led by four future first-round picks, as well as recent No. 22 overall pick Walker Kessler. They received a 2023 first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets in the O’Neale deal.

“We came up short, so we have to recalibrate and try to open the next window,” said Zanik. “Hopefully it’s a long road. We have a lot of work to do to get started.”

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34233167/utah-jazz-now-willing-listen-donovan-mitchell-trade-scenarios-rival-teams-say Utah Jazz now willing to listen to Donovan Mitchell trade scenarios

Emma Bowman

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