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Utah Jazz general manager implies team is rebuilding, Donovan Mitchell not untouchable

Jason Burgos
utah jazz, donovan mitchell
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

If it wasn’t clear before, it seems that Utah Jazz is in rebuild mode, and that could, or could not include star Donovan Mitchel based on new comments from the team’s general manager Justin Zanik.

When the Jazz decided to trade three-time All-Star Rudy Gobert last week, the deal was not met with shock. It had long been rumored and was expected at that point. However, what did surprise NBA observers was Utah’s return being built around future first-round picks as opposed to win-now talent.

It was something Gobert recently spoke about, as he claimed he felt that the organization believed that the team as currently constituted had gone as far as it could. “The window for winning is not always big. … I think the organization felt like we had maybe passed that window. … I think they just felt like, with the assets that they could get with me, it was better for them to go that way,” Gobert said earlier this week.

Related: 3 ideal Mike Conley trade scenarios from Utah Jazz

In a press conference to introduce some of the players they acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Gobert, the team’s GM confirmed his former center’s opinion and said the team would now “recalibrate” for the long term. “We fell short, so we need to recalibrate and try to go and open up the next window, and hopefully it’s a long one. We’ve got work to do to start that,” Zalik said this week [h/t Tim MacMahon]

Utah Jazz general manager leaves door open to Donovan Mitchell trade

utah jazz, donovan mitchell
Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

With the organization seemingly in a rebuild mode as they cultivate draft assets instead of another NBA star to pair with Donovan Mitchell, Zanik was asked if that means the three-time All-Star will stay so the roster can be built around him. However, while the general manager did not say the team was actively looking to move Mitchell, he certainly left the window wide open for that possibility in the near future.

“Change is inevitable in the NBA. 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 are trying to do. 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 there [to trade Mitchell], at all.”

Justsin Zanik on Donovan Mitchell’s future in Utah
  • Donovan Mitchell contract: 4 yrs and $134.8 million left, 2025-2026 player option

Mitchell is signed for four more seasons, with the final year being a player option.