The Utah Jazz could trade their star centre Rudy Gobert after the NBA 2019-20 is concluded. While the Defensive Player of the Year is said to have a tense relationship with teammate Donovan Mitchell after he tested positive for COVID-19. However, a Rudy Gobert trade has reportedly been on the cards since some time now.
While reports hinted at the Utah Jazz trading Gobert due to his strained relationship with All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, The Athletic states there had been ‘rumblings’ way before either of the two contracted the disease that the team was gradually growing ‘weary’ of Gobert. Though the Jazz were not ‘actively shopping’ for him, he was reportedly more available that a Defensive Player of the Year, who is such an integral part of the team, should be. As per reports, the Utah Jazz might chose to move on next year.
On March 11, Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the virus, which also resulted in the NBA fast-tracking their decision to suspended the 2019-20 season. As per ESPN, Gobert had been careless according to his teammates and touched them and their belongings in the Utah Jazz locker room before he tested positive. A few days later, it was reported that his relationship with Mitchell was not ‘salvageable’.
Snippet from the conversation with Rudy Gobert addressing media speculation about his relationship with Donovan Mitchell: pic.twitter.com/jQ8KaPEnZs— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) April 12, 2020
However, Gobert denied the rumours last week, stating that though there were initial issues, he and Mitchell were doing ‘great’. He even added that currently, they only want to concentrate on winning championships. As per the Jazz’s statement, both Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have now been cleared of COVID-19 symptoms. Gobert had also posted on Instagram about working out a few days after he had been cleared.
Rudy Gobert has been a part of the Utah Jazz for his entire seven-year NBA career. He is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and was also an All-Star for the first time this NBA season. Gobert was averaging at 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game while shooting 69.8% from the field before the NBA season was suspended.
The Jazz were at a 41-23 win-loss record in the Western Conference. They were three games behind the Los Angeles Lakers and 1.5 behind the Denver Nuggets. As Gobert can be a free agent following the NBA 2020-21 season, the Utah Jazz might have to make a decision before the next season concludes.