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Donovan Mitchell on his Utah Jazz stint with Rudy Gobert: ‘On the court, it didn’t work’

Jason Burgos
donovan mitchell
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert helped to make the Utah Jazz a highly competitive team in the NBA for several years, the current Cleveland Cavaliers star realizes it was a combo that was a failure.

In 2017, the Utah Jazz organization made a major shift in its direction on the court. They took Donovan Mitchell with the 13th pick overall and quickly realized the Louisville standout could become a core member of their roster.

Along with veteran Rudy Gobert, the duo would take the Jazz to the playoffs for five straight seasons and even seemed on the verge of being a serious championship contender in a few of those years. However, despite their potential and multiple All-Star honors for both men, Utah disappointed more often than not once the postseason began.

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Another first-round ouster earlier this year led the franchise to make the bold move of blowing it all up and moving both men in blockbuster trades this past summer. Gobert landed in Minnesota, and Mitchell is now starring for a Cavaliers team that has been one of the best in the Eastern Conference in 2022-2023.

Donovan Mitchell on Jazz stint with Rudy Gobert: ‘We didn’t get the job done’

donovan mitchell
Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The duo and their new teams are set to face off this week, and Mitchell was asked about that time together in a recent interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic. While the three-time All-Star proclaims the two have no ill will toward each other, as rumors have suggested, he laments their shortcomings in leading the team.

  • Donovan Mitchell trade: Jazz received Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks, and two pick swaps

“You know, we gave Utah a lot of special moments. But you know, we didn’t get the job done. Him and I have a great relationship, despite what people may feel. On the court, it didn’t work. I don’t hate Rudy. He doesn’t hate me.

“It was just one of those things where it just didn’t work out, and I feel like we live in a world where everybody’s gotta hate each other and there’s gotta be some negative thing and that’s just not the case. When I see him on Sunday, I’m gonna give him a hug and smile and laugh. And when we’re on the court, it’s time to go at it. That’s really what it is.”

– Mitchell on Gobert relationship

The Cavaliers and Timberwolves will battle on Sunday at 6 PM ET on the NBA games today schedule.