Donovan Mitchell Rumors: Jazz 'Committed to Building Around' Star amid Trade Buzz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 29, 2022

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 25: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz dribbles the ball during Round 1 Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks on April 25, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Despite speculation of a potential trade, the Utah Jazz reportedly want All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to be their cornerstone moving forward.

According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Jazz are "committed to building around" Mitchell and trying to field a championship-contending team for the 2022-23 season and beyond.

Jones also noted that Mitchell should be considered the player "most likely to remain" with the Jazz during the offseason.

The 25-year-old Mitchell has developed into one of the NBA's best guards during his career and the Jazz have reached the playoffs in each of his five seasons, but it hasn't translated to the desired level of team success.

Utah has made it to the playoffs in six straight seasons overall, but it has not advanced past the semifinals during that time. That futile streak continued Thursday in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Jazz fell 98-96 in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Mavs, thus ending the series and their season in disappointing fashion.

Utah had championship aspirations with a roster led by Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson; however, the mix simply hasn't worked during the postseason.

Some type of shake-up is obviously needed, and while trading Mitchell would net the Jazz the most possible assets, they're under no pressure to do so.

Mitchell signed a five-year, $163 million contract extension in 2020, meaning he is under contract through at least the 2024-25 season with a player option for 2025-26.

Despite the frustration of playoff failures and rumored issues between him and Gobert, Mitchell has not made any public pleas to be traded.

Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Mitchell said the following Thursday after Utah's elimination at the hands of Dallas: "My mindset is to win. Like I said, right now, I'm not really looking at [asking for a trade]. For me, I just want to win. This hurts. Like I said, I'll think about it in a week and go from there, but right now, I'm not really thinking about any of that."

Even so, MacMahon noted that opposing teams are "anxiously awaiting" Mitchell's future plans and have been "planning and plotting for months" to prepare an offer in case Mitchell does want out.

Trading Mitchell would mean parting ways with a rising star who averaged 25.9 points, 5.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 three-pointers made and 1.5 steals per game this season.

According to Jones, "almost every idea on the table" for the Jazz this offseason aside from moving Mitchell, which suggests Utah could be open to trading Gobert.

If there is any truth to the rumors of tension between Mitchell and Gobert, moving Gobert would perhaps solidify Mitchell's status in Utah and bring back a return that could help reshape the Jazz roster into something more capable of succeeding in the playoffs.