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Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell is gone and Jazz rebuild is underway


we knew this was coming.

Utah soon Jazz sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesotait was a matter of time Donovan Mitchell also traded over there. There are still dominoes to topple, but the rebuilding of Jazz is officially underway.

The Jazz entered the offseason with a decrepit roster, two All-Stars clearly unlikely to win the Jazz title, and a number of young players with advantages for the future. I’m here to draft an asset.

After confirming the transaction to be traded Mitchell to Cleveland Cavalierstraded Gobert to the Timberwolves, Lois O’Neal to Brooklyn Nets When Patrick Beverley to Los Angeles LakersJazz has already amassed a huge amount of youth and draft capital.

Through these three deals, the Jazz acquired six players under the age of 25 (Colin Sexton, Lauri MarkkanenMalik Beasley, Jared Vanderbilt, Leandro Bormalo, Tarren Horton Tucker), the 14th and 22nd overall picks in the 2022 draft (Ochai Agbaj and Walker Kessler), eight future first-round picks, and three future pick exchanges.

That is the foundation that supports the future of jazz.

There are more building blocks to come. Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson are all still valuable trade assets with potential for more youngsters and more picks, giving the Jazz a solid and reliable track record. There are many interested parties looking for the services of a certain role player.

But a trade involving the rest of the Jazz playoff team will only serve to strengthen what’s already started.

After six consecutive playoff appearances, the Jazz are wrecking everything in hopes of bringing back something better. A playoff spot showed promise, but that promise never materialized further, leaving the Jazz a team heading to the middle of the playoff pack with no real chance of contending for the NBA title.

A complete rebuild of the NBA is not easy for the fan base. The Jazz rack up more losses than anything else during the season to improve their chances of turning their 2023 draft pick into a top selection.

Instead of being behind the scenes with a player development coach, there will be young players going through the growing pains and growing on the court in front of everyone under the light.

new head coach Will Hardy Tested. His job not only requires him to find and nurture sustainable talent for the future, but also to keep young and losing teams motivated and hopeful about what can be done. I have to find a way to make it work.

The Jazz front office will need patience and a sense of balance before navigating the 2022-23 season and choosing the perfect moment to return to the fold. Timing becomes everything.

While some fans may lose their support during the rebuilding process, the players never forget the fans who stand behind them when things aren’t easy and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

While every match can be viewed as a scheduled defeat, there are also matches where young players shine beyond expectations and put on a show that gives a glimpse of what’s possible in the future.

Progress is measured differently. For years, the Jazz, led by Mitchell and Gobert, have tried to make the leap from good to great, but this is no longer that team. The NBA Playoffs are no longer available to measure this team’s improvement.

Instead, progress should be based on whether players can reduce turnovers, whether other players can improve their passes, and whether they can learn to defend without fouling. Learning to celebrate small, moral victories is a must.

It’s the beginning of a new era in jazz basketball. Under Ryan Smith’s new ownership, with Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik at the helm of the front office and Will Hardy in charge of team development, Jazz’s restructuring is officially underway.

Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge (left), Jazz general manager Justin Zanik, new Jazz head coach Will Hardy, and Jazz owner Ryan Smith at Salt Lake on Tuesday, July 5. Taking pictures at the press conference introducing Hardy at City’s Vivint Arena in 2022.

Christine Murphy, Deseret News

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