Part of the reason that the Utah Jazz went into their rebuild this NBA offseason was that they felt the All-Star duo of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had reached its peak. They were a very good duo, but they were unable to reach that elite level like some of the other pairings around the league.
Utah was one of the best teams in the NBA during the regular season with Gobert and Mitchell leading the way but they were unable to get over the hump during the postseason. The Jazz never advanced beyond the second round and suffered some brutal off-season losses despite having some advantageous situations.
In 2021 their second-round series with the LA Clipper was tied at two games apiece when Kawhi Leonard injured his knee. They would lose the next two, including Game 5 at home. In 2022, the Dallas Mavericks were without Luka Doncic for the first three games of the series, yet Utah went 1-2 in those games.
The relationship between the two was also reportedly strained. They didn’t see eye-to-eye when it came to some things. One of the most eye-popping stats was the fact that Mitchell averaged more turnovers per game than passes to Gobert. Essentially, Mitchell passed the ball to the opponent more than his starting center.

NBA NEWS: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Cleveland Cavaliers & Minnesota Timberwolves Updates
With their on-court performance seemingly capped as a great regular season and a second-round exit playoff team, Utah decided to make some changes. Gobert was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the offseason. After that deal was completed, Mitchell found himself on the trade block.
Eventually, he was sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as both players were traded to up-and-coming teams looking to cement their standing in their respective conferences. While they had some differences, Gobert was very complimentary of Mitchell in a recent exchange shared via
/>“I think he has a bright future. He’s one of the best young players in his position. He’s going to keep getting better. I think it’s a great opportunity for him to just get to a new system, a new team and be able to show what he can do.”
NBA NEWS: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Cleveland Cavaliers & Minnesota Timberwolves Updates

That was good to see Gobert take the high road despite some rocky times that the two shared. Mitchell will be 26 when the season begins and will have a chance to elevate the Cavaliers much in the same way he did for the Jazz after they selected him 13th overall in 2017.
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