Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert Ready to 'Move Forward' After Drama, Jazz EVP Says

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 5, 2020

FILE - In this Saturday, March 7, 2020, file photo, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) talks with guard Donovan Mitchell, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, in Detroit. Both players have tested positive for the coronavirus.  Gobert's test result forced the NBA to suspend the season. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Utah Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have reportedly had a fractured relationship since both tested positive for the coronavirus in March.

However, the All-Star duo is committed to not letting those hard feelings impact their production on the court:

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Jazz executive VP Dennis Lindsey on Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell: "They're ready to put this behind them, move forward, act professionally. ... We're very pleased with the collective makeup of our group, Donovan and Rudy in particular. We look forward to moving forward."

Eric Walden @tribjazz

In video chat with with local media, Jazz exec Dennis Lindsey said Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are "ready to put this behind them and move forward. We fully expect the team to come together."

Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19 on March 11, which led the league to suspend its 2019-20 season. Mitchell was confirmed to have the virus on March 12:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.

Gobert publicly apologized for his behavior:

Rudy Gobert @rudygobert27


The Jazz announced March 27 that all players and staff had been cleared of COVID-19 by the Utah Department of Health.

The Athletic's Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Tony Jones reported April 10 that a source said Gobert and Mitchell's relationship "doesn't appear salvageable."

The story provided the backdrop:

"In the two travel days leading into Utah's game at Oklahoma City, Gobert and Mitchell shared space on a regular basis, sitting near each other on buses and the team plane, according to sources. Still, there's no way to know if Gobert gave it to Mitchell or if it was the other way around or some other factor. That's something the team tried to make clear to Mitchell, according to sources. Mitchell also declined an interview request for this story. ...

"The Jazz have already begun working on the Mitchell-Gobert relationship, but sources say Mitchell remains reluctant to fix what might have been broken."

Gobert addressed the situation with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks on April 12:

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

Snippet from the conversation with Rudy Gobert addressing media speculation about his relationship with Donovan Mitchell: https://t.co/jQ8KaPEnZs

The Jazz drafted Gobert 27th overall in 2013, and he is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Mitchell was the 13th overall selection in 2017.

Utah was 41-23 and occupied fourth place in the Western Conference when the season was suspended. Mitchell is the Jazz's leading scorer this season with 24.2 points per game, and Gobert leads the team with 13.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.