Former Jazzmen Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell Embrace Before First Matchup

Jan 14, 2023, 7:54 PM

Rudy Gobert - Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz...

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) high fives Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) after having a foul called on him against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)

(Silas Walker, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah Jazz teammates Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell embraced each other prior to a matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The T-Wolves hosted the Cavs at Target Center on Saturday, January 14.

It was Gobert and Mitchell’s first time playing against one another. The duo were Jazz teammates from 2017-22.

RELATED: Jazz Welcome Donovan Mitchell With Tribute Video

Prior to the opening tip-off, the former teammates shared a quick handshake and hug before facing each other on the court.

This season, Gobert is averaging 13.8 points per game on 67.8 percent shooting. He also averages 12.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 0.9 steals per game.

The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year was traded by Utah to Minnesota in July 2022. “Rudy Gobert had a huge impact on this franchise and the entire state of Utah during his nine seasons with the Jazz,” Jazz owner Ryan Smith said of Gobert after the trade.

During his nine seasons with the Jazz, Gobert averaged 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, and 2.2 blocks per game. He played in 611 games for Utah, including 519 starts.

RELATED: Utah Jazz, Fans Honor Rudy Gobert With Tribute Video, Warm Welcome

Mitchell is recording 29.2 points per game, which is seventh-best in the NBA. The Louisville product is also averaging 4.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.3 blocks, and 1.5 steals per contest.

The Jazz traded Mitchell to the Cavaliers in September 2022. “There will always be Donovan Mitchell fans in Utah. Once a Jazzman, always a Jazzman,” the Jazz shared via Twitter after the trade with Cleveland.

The guard played the first five seasons of his career with the Jazz. During his time in Utah, Mitchell averaged 23.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.3 blocks per contest. He appeared in 345 games with the Jazz, including 337 starts.

Both players earned three NBA All-Star selections during their final three seasons with the Jazz.

This season, Mitchell and Gobert received warm receptions during Minnesota and Cleveland’s visits to Vivint Arena.

The Cavaliers-Timberwolves game is broadcast on NBA League Pass.

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Former Jazzmen Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell Embrace Before First Matchup