Shortly after the NBA halted playing, there were reports that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were not getting along. Mostly due to the coronavirus. I’m going to say something but it’s not for the reason that I just talked about. The Jazz have no choice but to trade Rudy Gobert and it has nothing to do with Mitchell. It’s either trade Gobert or suffer the consequences later.
After this season concludes, Gobert will be eligible for the Super Max contract extension. Not a joke. Gobert will have one-year remaining on his contract and would qualify for the Super Max. The two-time defensive player of the year could command an extension that is a 5-year agreement for 35 percent of the cap. We don’t know what the cap will be next year but before play halted, it would have been on pace to be a $247.3 million contract.
The Jazz can’t pay that and nor should they. It’s officially the Kemba Walker situation. The minute he qualified for an NBA All-team spot, the Hornets couldn’t keep him anymore. Walker was either going to take the Super Max or look elsewhere. Gobert is either going to take the Super Max or go elsewhere. Like Charlotte did with Walker, that offer is not on the table for Gobert and nor should it be.
Why would you want to lose Gobert for nothing? Someone is going to pay up for Rudy. Even if you match a contract, are you sure he doesn’t leave anyway? Gordon Hayward left so why take the risk Gobert leaves too? Especially when you know that mega offer isn’t on the table.
Gobert is also a dinosaur in this league. Bigs that can’t shoot are not valuable. Would you rather have Daniel Theis for $5 million or Andre Drummond for $27? If a center is making that much money, you’re not winning a title. It’s just a reality. Gobert can’t shoot. I need my Super Max player having the ability to hit a jump shot. Gobert can’t do that.
This is a no brainer decision. Give Gobert a dumb contract where he ages into his mid 30’s or trade him for pieces that can help you build a winner around Mitchell? This isn’t even a discussion. Trade Gobert or pay the consequences later. If the Hornets had to do it over again, they would have traded Kemba. Don’t make that same mistake, Utah.