Despite COVID-19 rift, Jazz will not trade star players

Oct 14, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) listens to teammate center Rudy Gobert (27) after a foul against the Sacramento Kings in the second quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 back on March 11. Not only did this force the suspension of the NBA season, it led to pretty much all major professional sports being shut down in North America.

One day later, it was noted that teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the virus. This led to an ongoing rift between Gobert and his All-Star teammate. The backstory was simple. Mitchell took exception to how Gobert handled the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus immediately before the World Health Organization (WHO) defined it as a pandemic.

Now that the virus has spread throughout the United States, there’s no telling when sports will return. Once it does, there’s long been an expectation that Mitchell and Gobert can’t coexist on the same roster.

Talking about the dynamic in Salt Lake City this week, Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Utah has no plans on choosing between the two and will not look to trade one of them.

It was Charania who reported earlier that the relationship between Mitchell and Gobert does not appear to be salvageable. And while the Jazz know that the rift is real, they will continue with the status quo.

For his part, Gobert recently noted that his relationship with Mitchell is good.

We’re not 100% sure what to make of this. It’s not your normal spat between teammates. It’s about life and death, as Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns found out recently with the passing of his mother due to COVID-19.

Utah boasted a tremendous 41-23 record when the season was suspended. These two remain the face of the franchise. The hope here is that things can work out for the best moving forward.