Utah Jazz rebuilds in the offseason


Image Source: CBS News

Utah Jazz traded two of their core players after the 2021-’22 season. On Sept. 3, the Jazz traded away Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and earlier in the offseason, the Jazz traded their center, Rudy Gobert. 

Although the Jazz saw success with the duo in the regular season, becoming the number one seed in the Western Conference for the past two seasons, the organization saw no playoff success.

“Utah Jazz kept Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert as their core for a couple of years now and the lack of playoff success in the time calls for a rebuild.” Keanu Park (10), an avid NBA watcher, said.  

At their best, Mitchell and Gobert only managed to reach the Western Conference Semifinals in the five seasons they played together. 

In exchange for Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz received three first-round picks, two pick swaps, and three players from the Cavaliers

On Jazz’s side, the organization succeeded once more in gaining more first-round picks, a crucial opportunity for rebuilding the team. Also, Collin Sexton, one of the three players the Cavaliers sent, has recently improved drastically on his offensive abilities. 

“Sexton showed consistency as a star player and recorded an average of 24.3 points per game in his third season,” Keanu said.“He can fit the role of the main scorer or serve as a trade token for the Jazz team.” 

Many NBA analysts say that the Jazz gained potential players for their future and three first-round picks that could bring in more talented players for the organization soon. 

From the Cavaliers’s perspective, many also viewed this trade as a major win. 

“I think the Cavaliers will largely benefit from this trade,” Joshua Lee (12), Cavaliers fan, said. “One problem the Cavaliers had last year was the lack of player depth and explosive scoring besides Darius Garland.” 

Many fans anticipate Darius Garland, playmaker and expert three-point shooter, and Donovan Mitchell, all-around scorer and ball-handler, to create offensive success.

“Though the players we traded like Lauri Markannen and Collin Sexton were important to last year’s team, they were easily replaceable by the two seven feet players we have: Evan Mobley and Jarret Allen,” Joshua said. 

The exact fit of Donovan Mitchell on the Cavaliers cannot be assessed until the NBA season officially begins, but a team with stable defense and offense along with Donovan Mitchell as the explosive scorer could be the formula for an immediate or impending championship. 

Prior to the Donovan Mitchell trade, the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. This move showed the Jazz organization’s devotion to rebuilding the team as Rudy Gobert played the central role in their defense and helped fill the role of a center. 

In this trade, the Jazz received four first-round picks, a 2026 pick-swap, and five players

“The Jazz got the perfect trade package as a rebuilding team. I think Rudy Gobert has clear limits as an offensive player and lacks the speed to be a versatile defender, so the five draft picks are a massive haul.” Aaron Kim (11), JV basketball player, said.

One of the main players the Jazz got from this trade is a power forward Jarred Vanderbilt. Many fans view him as a versatile defender with agile movements on the court. 

This move can be risky for the Timberwolves, with the organization giving up many future first-round picks and role players. But if successful, the move can make the Timberwolves a very strong team next season. 

In the 2022-’23 season, the team is projected to have one of the largest backcourts as Rudy Gobert plays center and Karl Anthony Towns, the team’s current center, plays power forward.