Rudy Gobert Trade Rumors: 'Rumblings' Jazz 'Were Growing Weary Of' DPOY

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2020

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) runs up court in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

David Aldridge of The Athletic has added to the speculation that the Utah Jazz could trade All-Star center Rudy Gobert

When asked about the possibility of Utah trading Gobert due to the perceived strained relationship between Gobert and All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, Aldridge wrote the following:

"There have been rumblings well before either of them contracted [the] coronavirus that the Jazz were growing weary of Gobert. Not that they were actively shopping him or trying to get rid of him, but that he might be more available than you'd think a Defensive Player of the Year and guy who is such an anchor would be. It will not surprise me if Utah moves on after this season."

Gobert was the first player in the NBA to be diagnosed with the coronavirus, and Mitchell later tested positive for COVID-19. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that teammates said Gobert was "careless" in touching them and their belongings in the locker room before he was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Tony Jones of The Athletic later reported that the relationship between Gobert and Mitchell "doesn't appear salvageable."

Last week, Gobert disputed the notion that there is bad blood between he and Mitchell. He admitted to Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks that while they didn't speak for a while, they eventually did and called their relationship "great."

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Gobert, 27, has spent his entire seven-year NBA career in Utah. The Frenchman is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and he was named an All-Star for the first time this season.

Before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to COVID-19, Gobert was averaging 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, while also shooting 69.8 percent from the field.Although Gobert is a defensive force, he has never developed into a major threat offensively, as his career high in scoring average for a season is only 15.9, and he averages 11.7 points per game over the course of his entire career.

Gobert, Mitchell and the Jazz were playing some of their best basketball of the season before it was suspended, and they were fourth in the Western Conference at 41-23. Utah was just 1.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for third and three games behind the Los Angeles Clippers in second.

Gobert can become a free agent after the 2020-21 season, so the Jazz have to make a decision on whether he can help them win a championship with his on-court play and whether he can co-exist with Mitchell in the long term.