Unrivaled: Decoding Quin Snyder’s End Of Season Comments

May 12, 2022, 11:29 AM | Updated: 11:29 am
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – It has been a few days since Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder addressed the media in a 45-minute press conference. Snyder mentioned some player development, how his family enjoys living in Salt Lake, how the team needs to do more, and notably did not discuss his contract status.

In short, it was a lot of coach speak. However, Unrivaled’s Scott Mitchell (who is fluent in coach speak) listened to the comments and has translated to what Snyder really said about this past Jazz season.

Has Donovan Mitchell Peaked? Quin Snyder Comments

Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell is a two-time All-Star, puts up better numbers in the playoffs, and is very popular in Utah. The one complaint about him in the playoff series vs. the Dallas Mavericks this past year was his defense was not up to par.

During his end-of-season media availability, Snyder alluded that there is still more to come from Donovan Mitchell.

“I think the first thing I would say is he’s a young player,” Snyder said. “It’s great that you have areas to improve. He’s someone that’s shot at the ball like crazy in the playoffs and didn’t shoot it as well this year. But we know what a good shooter is whether it’s off the dribble or catch and shoot. I’m not right now going to dissect basically a player development plan.”

Scott Mitchell thinks what Snyder is saying is that he is going to be as good as he ever will be, with little to no room for growth despite being just 25 years old.

“Donovan Mitchell’s reached his ceiling,” Mitchell said. “He’s about maxed out. What he’s talking about is defense. This kid can’t play defense he is not playing defense. I’m not trying to be grumpy but just being honest about all of this.”

Donovan Mitchell does seem to turn it on during the playoffs on offense and boasts a better scoring average in those games compared to his regular-season numbers. There is no question that his defense needs to get better and maybe there are other areas in Mitchell’s game that he can improve upon to overall be a better player, but perhaps the bold statement is that he is as good as he will be.

Quin Snyder Wants To Stay In Utah

There are always talks and rumors about how pro athletes don’t like to be in Salt Lake City or in Utah because of either the demographic or the perceived lack of nightlife and things to do in the area. Donovan Mitchell seems to find plenty to do by supporting local college and high school teams throughout the state, and it seems that he has a great time living in Salt Lake.

Did Snyder tip his hand by using the past tense when describing his family’s time in Utah? He did quickly correct himself but the damage may already be done.

“My family has loved it here, and don’t judge by tense when I speak,” Snyder said. “My family loves it here.”

Mitchell’s translation is that Snyder did not slip up when using past tense in regards to staying in Utah. The contract for Snyder is reportedly through next year with a coach option for the 2023-24 season, and there have been multiple rumors of the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers wanting Snyder to coach their team.

“He actually slipped up for a minute. He actually stopped talking coach speak for a minute,” Mitchell said. “He goes, don’t read into my tense, and again, this is a guy who just says, ‘I am seeing this place in the rearview mirror.’ It’s like when you’ve had an experience, you go, ‘man, I just love my time there. The people were great. The experience of the town, everything was just really great. I just loved my time there.’ The more I’m listening to this, I’m like this guy’s out of here.”

Coach speak or speaking the truth, there have been a lot of reports out there linking Snyder to other jobs so there might be more truth to him just maybe cracking that door and imaging life coaching a different team than the Utah Jazz.

Quin Snyder Won’t Discuss Contract

The contract for Snyder is sort of a mystery. He is in town for at least one more year with a coach option running through the 2024 season. Coaches don’t want to discuss their finality or length of contract but it is an interesting thing to note that Snyder has not yet picked up his option despite it being around for some time.

“I appreciate the things that [Jazz owner] Ryan [Smith] is doing, have great respect for him and his vision for the franchise, and then working with Justin and Danny [Ainge] has been great, obviously have tremendous respect for them,” Snyder said. “So beyond that, I think I’ve continued to maintain that I’m not going to discuss my contractual situation publicly. That’s just not something that I want to do or I’m comfortable doing.

Scott Mitchell believes it is totally normal for coaches to want to keep contract negotiations quiet.

“No one wants to negotiate in public, but when he goes, ‘I really like the vision and the direction that Ryan Smith is going with the organization, but it’s not something I believe in or want to be a part of. So I’m kind of out on that one,’ ” Mitchell said. “Then the whole thing about working with Justin Zanack and Danny Ainge, you haven’t worked with them yet because Danny Ainge got put in in the middle of the season. It’s like they’re going to put a team here that I don’t know that I can coach.”

Scott Mitchell’s overall takeaway about Snyder’s tone is that he seems ready to move on and look at options elsewhere.

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Unrivaled: Decoding Quin Snyder’s End Of Season Comments