On Friday, Utah Jazz were kicked out of the first round of the playoffs after a 98-96 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks, losing the playoff series 4-2.
Bojan Bogdanovic had the opportunity to win it for Utah Jazz with an open look at a 3-pointer in the closing but missed, seeing his team crash out of the playoff series and the ramifications could be greatly dramatic.
Utah Jazz has now made it to the playoffs for 6 consecutive seasons but has continually been eliminated early in the post-season and that was the case once again this time around. It was even worse with Mavericks star Luka Doncicout injured for the opening few games of the playoff series.
ESPN NBA analyst Michael Wilbon claimed earlier in the week that Utah Jazz would have to “blow up” the squad and start all over again should it go down to Dallas Mavericks.
Wilbon said on The Tony Kornheiser Show, “Utah is going away. They are going to blow that team up.”
“I don’t know if they are going to keep Donovan Mitchell and try to build around him or if they’ll trade Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. I don’t know the answer to that or if anybody does. I think it depends on the offers that are out there.”
Mitchell is the most possible piece to be on the trade table considering he would attract several interests across the league although Rudy Gobert is another trade option.
Matt Barnes also said there would be a big opportunity at Utah Jazz should they not make it beyond the second round, let alone the first round, and maintained that on Twitter yesterday. Their fans will also have a chance to claim some wins using picks from FlashPicks when the team continue their fight in the playoffs.
“They’ve been one of the better teams in the Western Conference for the last two to three years and all they have to show for that is two first-round exits and a second-round exit,” Barnes disclosed on ESPN’s ‘NBA Today’ earlier this month.
“I’ve continually said: ‘Who is going to be their consistent next second guy?’. They’re missing that second key guy and don’t be surprised if this falls flat on its face again if Donovan Mitchell leaves Utah.”
Mitchell secured 23 points, and 9 assists with8 rebounds on Friday to lead the way for Utah Jazz but it was not enough with Doncic and Brunson (24 points) coming up big for Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks will square up against the Phoenix Suns in the second round.
The possible fallout of another early postseason defeat has been a subject of much talk around the NBA all campaign, especially among teams that would be keen to trade for Mitchell or fellow cornerstone Rudy Gobert if Utah Jazz eventually decides to break up the partnership.
“No matter what, I’m always going to do my best to be the best Rudy I can be on and off the floor and win,” Gobert disclosed after Utah’s 98-96 Game 6 defeat. “The rest is out of my control.”
How much longer will Mitchell, who has 3-years and a fourth-year player option remaining on his deal, remains committed to the franchise that drafted him?
Several teams are eagerly awaiting the answer; reports suggest teams have been planning for months in anticipation of the 3-time All-Star asking to be traded this offseason. Mitchell did not commit himself when asked about the possibility in the wake of their elimination.
“My mindset is to win. Like I said, right now, I’m not really looking at [asking for a trade],” Mitchell said. “For me, I just want to win.”
“This hurts,” Mitchell said. “Like I said, I’ll think about it in a week and go from there, but right now, I’m not really thinking about any of that.”