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Fans, writers weigh in on Jazz future after early playoff exit

Apr 29, 2022, 10:51 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 11:16 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The morning after the Utah Jazz got bounced from the playoffs was not a pretty one.

Fans and NBA writers alike offered their takes on the future of the franchise, with many pointing to tough choices and the potential for significant offseason changes following the Jazz’s 98-96 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the the teams’ First Round series.

Mavericks End Jazz Season With Come From Behind Win

“It was really disappointing,” said Ryder Henderson. “Just chemistry in tight moments in the playoffs really hurt us.”

For some, “running it back” with largely the same team is simply a non-starter in the 2022-2023 season.

“I personally can’t stand (that term),” said James Hansen, site manager for slcdunk.com.

Hansen suggested that the bigger the change, the better the long-term prospects might be, noting that minor changes often lead to mediocrity.

“This offseason could be pretty crazy, honestly,” he said. “There could be some major things going on that we don’t even know.”

In fact, Hansen said he believed a major change was likely.

“We’re going to see one of three people being changed — whether it’s Donovan Mitchell, Quin Snyder or Rudy Gobert — and maybe some sort of combination of the three,” Hansen said. “My guess is the Jazz are probably going to trade Rudy Gobert to someone and build around Donovan Mitchell and kind of see how that goes, and if next season is successful, then they kind of build on that, and if it’s not, maybe they get even more drastic changes.”

Either Gobert or Mitchell would undoubtedly bring numerous suitors. Hansen believed the Atlanta Hawks might be a particularly intriguing trade partner for a potential Gobert deal.

Hansen said a significant reboot might also reenergize fans who have grown weary and concerned about recent premature playoff exits.

“I think fans would probably be more excited about a team that’s different, has a different look, you know, and fans can fall in love with new players,” Hansen said.

Still, some NBA fans said Friday they believed the Jazz should not break up Mitchell and Gobert.

“Mitchell is one of the best players in the league, I always thought, and Gobert could play for anybody, and so why would you give one of your better players to come back and haunt you, basically,” said Will Simard. “No need to get rid of them — talent is hard to find.”

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Fans, writers weigh in on Jazz future after early playoff exit