Utah hired the right GM for this
It’s easier to trade in the offseason. You can go at any time, drama dragging all the way through camp, deep into October. Guacamole that always stays green.
Summer isn’t over in Utah, Danny Ainge doesn’t enjoy extending players he didn’t acquire. His internal work with Donovan Mitchell was never over, even before this Knick stuff started.
Building around Mitchell requires buy-in, so internal conversations will need to be had. Keep in mind that Mitchell’s three closest teammates from last season — Royce O’Neale, Eric Paschall and Trent Forrest — were traded or are in unrestricted free agency because the Jazz didn’t tender a qualifying offer.
Ainge didn’t draft Mitchell, he only watched Donovan post 24 a game through five rock-solid NBA seasons, 26 a contest in his last two. Mitchell doesn’t miss many evenings and develops solid-enough efficiency for a major usage hound, last year he ran the league’s most efficient offense and he’s only 25.
A little beat at the end of games, though, and might chafe at carrying a hallowed-out batch of Jazzerbabies through a rebuild. Danny and Donovan can’t be blamed for eschewing nuance on the way toward two true paths: Donovan runs Utah with bunch of stars acquired immediately with all the Minnesota picks, or Donovan is traded for more picks.
Danny Ainge topping his haul for Gobert with a dip in New York’s pool of first-rounders sounds too good to be true, but it can wait. Ainge knows summer only gets itchier from here.
Jazz fans are a devoted bunch. The stadium will stay full and followers understand the minutia behind every movement, all Ainge’s TPEs and whatever non-draftees Danny chases once the second-round ends. They know what trades are legal and which ones aren’t. Jazz fans understand a rebuild in any context, let alone one constructed by a BYU legend and executive architect of the 2008 Boston Celtics title.
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