Jazz: Donovan Mitchell ‘Very Important’ Part Of Roster

Jul 9, 2022, 5:59 PM
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena on February 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz front office reiterated its commitment to All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell after trading center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jazz general manager Justin Zanik discussed Mitchell and Gobert just days after breaking up the team’s superstar pairing.

“Change is inevitable in the NBA,” Zanik said. “I’m not trying to be cryptic or anything else but Donovan’s on our roster and he’s a very, very important part of what we’re trying to do.”

Over the past several years there had been speculation that the Jazz would eventually have to choose between their two All-Star players in order to reach new heights.

After a disappointing first-round exit against the Dallas Mavericks to end the 2021-22 season, the Jazz opted to make the dramatic shakeup.

“These opportunities that come up are hard,” Zanik admitted after trading Gobert. “[But] given the amount of return and how motivated Minnesota was, it was just something that we all had to get together as a group and decide, ‘Hey, this is something that we need to do for the organization.'”

In return for Gobert, the Jazz received Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Balmaro, rookie Walker Kessler, four future first-round picks, and the right to swap draft picks in 2026.

Zanik Analyzes New Jazz Players

Zanik also spent a moment describing each new player the Jazz acquired in the Gobert trade.

Patrick Beverley: Point Guard – 6-foot-1, 180 lbs

Beverley is a 10-year NBA veteran who averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds with Minnesota last season. The guard has been named to three All-Defensive teams during his career.

The veteran has one-year and $13 million remaining on his contract.

Malik Beasley: Shooting Guard – 6-foot-4, 187 lbs

Beasley is a wildcard selection for the Jazz who has tremendous talent on the floor, and an ugly history off it. The wing averaged 19.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in the 2020-21 season while shooting 40 percent from the three-point line, but was arrested that year for pointing a gun at a family that drove near his property.

Beasley’s averages dipped to 12.1 points and 2.9 rebounds last season with the Timberwolves. He has two years and $32 million remaining on his contract, but the final year of his deal is a team option.

Jarred Vanderbilt: Power Forward – 6-foot-9, 215 lbs

Vanderbilt was a second-round draft pick in 2018 and became a regular rotation player for the Timberwolves over the last two seasons. Since 2020, Vanderbilt has averaged 6.2 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the floor in 138 games in Minnesota.

The forward has two-year and $9 million remaining on his contract.

Leandro Bolmaro: Wing – 6-foot-6, 200 lbs

Bolmaro was the 23rd pick in the 2020 NBA draft and stayed overseas for a season before joining the Timberwolves last year. The rookie averaged 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in 35 appearances with Minnesota.

The Argentine forward is under contract for $2.4 million next season with team options for the following two years.

Walker Kessler: Center – 7 feet, 255 lbs

Kessler was selected by the Timberwolves with the 22nd pick in last week’s NBA draft. The center began his college career at North Carolina but transferred to Auburn as a sophomore where he averaged 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and an impressive 4.6 blocks per game.

The big man is under team control on his rookie deal for the next several seasons.

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