The Utah Jazz are not currently looking to trade Donovan Mitchell, but it's reportedly seen as only a matter of time before he winds up on the market.
"Justin Zanik, the Utah Jazz general manager, talked over the weekend and said that, while they still want to build around Donovan Mitchell, he is not untouchable," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said Monday on Get Up. "That is what league executives believe. He is not currently on the market, but at some point, they believe he will be."
Utah's trade of Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves called into question Mitchell's future with the franchise, especially given the pick-laden haul the Jazz received in return. At present moment, the Jazz are heading into the 2022-23 season with Mitchell as their only star player.
Zanik refused to categorize Mitchell as untouchable at a press conference Saturday at summer league.
"I'm not trying to be cryptic or anything else, but Donovan is on our roster, and he's a very, very important part of what we're trying to do," Zanik told reporters. "Things evolve in the NBA. So I couldn't sit here and say anybody is (untouchable). We're trying to build a championship team, but there's no intent (to trade him) at all."
The Jazz may wind up using the 2022-23 season as a test to see how far a Mitchell-led team can go. While the 25-year-old has made three straight All-Star teams, he's never been an All-NBA selection and hasn't exhibited much improvement in his efficiency over the course of his career. Mitchell is also coming off a frustrating performance in the Jazz's first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks, during which he shot only 39.8 percent from the floor and 20.8 percent from three-point range.
If Gobert's absence during the regular season forces the Jazz out of playoff contention, we'll likely have our answer about Mitchell's standing in the NBA hierarchy and a bevy of midseason trade rumors. If the Jazz don't regress much and Mitchell thrives as the solo star, Utah could look to use the picks it acquired for Gobert and retool with a second star.