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STILL HEATED: Sometimes, space and time apart can help mend semi-broken relationships. However, that certainly does not appear to be the case with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, as apparently, the relationship does not seem to be salvageable after the whole coronavirus-related drama the duo went through a month ago.
Here’s the full report, courtesy of The Athletic: “Considering all the efforts the Jazz had taken to educate their players on the matter and to ensure their safety, it’s not hard to see why there would be frustration with anyone who was still downplaying the disease [as Gobert was]. Now, though, they must find a way to move forward. The Jazz have already begun working on the Mitchell-Gobert relationship, but sources say Mitchell remains reluctant to fix what might have been broken. “It doesn’t appear salvageable,” one source with knowledge of the situation said.”
Regardless, the fact that there may be a lot of time before games start back up this season — if they do at all — gives people within the Jazz organization hope that Mitchell will get over his beef with his French teammate, something he should probably do anyway considering no one knows if Gobert gave coronavirus to Mitchell or vice versa. And, for what it’s worth, Joe Ingles tweeted a simple Lol in reference to the report and even joked about only being mad at Gobert because he can’t visit his house to enjoy Gobert’s chef’s great cooking.
No one knows how this issue between Utah’s two All-Stars will end, but if, in the absolute worst-case scenario, the Jazz end up having to choose between the two players, things could get dicey. Do they go with the elite defensive big man who is an underrated offensive player thanks to his finishing down low and outstanding pick-and-roll game? Or will they go with the super high-upside 2-guard who could one day blossom into one of the NBA’s best at the supremely important position?
CHANGES IN CHICAGO: Don’t look now, but it appears the Bulls are serious about making changes in an effort to try and give their fans a team worthy of rooting for.
This week, they hired a new executive vice president of basketball operations in Arturas Karnisovas, who has done an excellent job as an assistant general manager in Denver since 2013 and will now get the chance to call the shots in Chicago.
DRAFT TALK: Draft early entry declarations are coming in hot and heavy these days. To keep up with the latest and find out who’s declared so far, click here.
For more on the draft, check out the latest aggregate mock draft we put together, which averages out what all the top draft prognosticators are predicting to happen come draft time.
THERE TO STAY: Vet point guard Shabazz Napier, acquired by Washington before the trade deadline, is set to be one of the top floor generals available in free agency this summer (or whenever free agency actually happens). Well, the Wizards plan to do their best to keep him around for the long haul, per GM Tommy Sheppard.
END OF THE LINE: Not surprising, but this looks like it could be it for legendary Spanish big man Paul Gasol’s career. He says retirement is on his mind with all that’s been going on recently.
ONE-ON-ONE: Clippers big man Patrick Patterson told us people within the organization are confident the season will resume at some point this year.
OFFSEASON PREVIEWS: With not much else to talk about, we started a series of offseason previews recently. So far, we’ve talked about what the Timberwolves and Bulls might do after 2019-20 finally wraps up.
TOUGH ROAD: Our own Bryan Kalbrosky recently spoke to fringe draft prospect Desmond Bane out of TCU, to discuss his improved draft stock, what the process (which he’s been through before) is like — and much more.
FRESH POD: Meanwhile, Alex Kennedy interviewed author Yaron Weitzman, who recently released a book called Tanking to the Top about the Process-era 76ers. Great read, and a fun discussion between the two writers.