Report: Rudy Gobert, Agent Waiting for Jazz Exit Meeting to 'Likely' Determine Future

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 23: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz talks to the media after Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks on April 23, 2022 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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 Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and his agent, Bouna Ndiaye, reportedly believe their upcoming exit meeting with team management will "likely determine" his future with the organization.

Tony Jones of The Athletic reported the update Monday as trade rumors swirl around Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell following the Jazz's first-round playoff elimination at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

Utah's front office hasn't made any declarations, but prevailing wisdom suggests the team's core is due for a shake up this summer following a lack of postseason success.

While the Jazz have qualified for the playoffs each of the past six seasons, they've never advanced beyond the second round. It's a disappointment for a team that's regularly finished near the top of the regular-season standings, including the NBA's best record at 52-20 in 2020-21.

If the franchise does decide to remake its foundation, it sounds like Gobert could be the main piece in a move.

Jones previously noted the Jazz "want to keep" Mitchell and realize that means trading Gobert could be the "only true avenue to explore in terms of improving the roster on the fly."

SiriusXM's Sean O'Connell reported Monday the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is ready to provide the front office with a "him or me" proposition in regards to Mitchell, though Gobert appeared to downplay that notion on Twitter:

Rudy Gobert @rudygobert27

Everyday has it’s own new “rumor” 🙄

Even if neither player requests a trade directly, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the Jazz bring back pretty much the same roster for next season with only a few minor depth changes. It's time to try something new around Gobert or Mitchell while they're still playing at a high level.

That said, Jazz general manager Justin Zanik didn't tip his hand during exit interviews last week.

"I think Donovan and Rudy, along with some of our other players, are hugely important to the success of this organization," Zanik told reporters. "When you're talking about building a championship house, it doesn't exist just on a foundation, it exists on everything else as well."

While there are countless factors in play if it comes down to keeping only one of Mitchell or Gobert, perhaps the simplest is age. The All-Star guard won't turn 26 until September, while the old-school post player will hit 30 in June.

For a team that's failed to capitalize on having its championship window open in recent years, keeping it open for as long as possible is likely the goal, which is another reason Mitchell is the more likely option to stay heading toward the 2022-23 campaign.