Report: Donovan Mitchell to sign max contract with Jazz

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 9/2/20

There are no signs of Donovan Mitchell leaving Utah any time soon.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Jazz and Mitchell plan to finalize a maximum rookie contract extension when free agency opens in October. The value of a five-year max deal this offseason will likely be valued at $170 million, Haynes adds. 

Although the Jazz blew a 3-1 series lead and fell to the Denver Nuggets in Game 7, Mitchell put up some pretty impressive numbers in the bubble and is well-deserving of a new deal. In the series against Denver, Mitchell averaged 36.3 points, five rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 51.5 percent from beyond the arc. 

Before heading to the bubble, Mitchell told Haynes that he was worried about competing in Orlando because of concerns about what an injury could’ve meant for his potential contract. Once his teammates told him they wanted him to play, he admitted that he was all-in for the restart. 

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Jerry Sloan dies at 78 following long battle with dementia, Parkinson’s

Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan has died following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

The Utah Jazz announced on Thursday morning that Sloan has died at age 78. The team issued a statement praising the former coach for all he meant to the franchise.

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz,” the statement read. “He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.”

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/22/20

Rudy Gobert says in video he is ‘feeling better every single day’

Rudy Gobert has made an effort to educate the public about the coronavirus since he became the first player in major American sports to contract COVID-19, and the Utah Jazz star provided another update on his condition on Sunday.

In a video that was published on the NBA’s official Twitter page, Gobert thanked fans for their support and said he has been “feeling a little better every single day.” He also encouraged people to continue protecting themselves with practices like good hand washing and social distancing. Gobert then once again expressed regret over not taking the coronavirus more seriously from the start.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 3/15/20

Report: Donovan Mitchell tested positive for coronavirus, Jazz players blame Rudy Gobert for being ‘careless’

Roughly 12 hours after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 , teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive for the coronavirus.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news, noting Jazz players “privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings.”

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Jesse Reed | Last updated 3/12/20

NBA suspends season after Rudy Gobert’s positive test for coronavirus

Things with the National Basketball Association have quickly escalated to the worst-case scenario.

The league announced Wednesday night that it has suspended its season in the wake of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s positive test for coronavirus.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Darryn Albert | Last updated 3/11/20

NBA Players Who Should Be First-Time All-Stars

There are only so many available slots on NBA All-Star squads, meaning recognizable veterans and rookies attempting to break through glass ceilings are ultimately snubbed in fan voting and player-selection processes each season. Twenty-year-old Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is an example of a player who could be an odd-man-out by February. The human highlight reel leading all first-year pros in scoring and assists is the uncrowned Rookie of the Year heading toward All-Star weekend, but he’ll likely have to wait until next winter to receive his first paid trip to the exhibition contest. 

Meanwhile, a pair of special NBA sophomores are all-but-guaranteed to represent their respective conferences and teams in Chicago. They could be joined by a member of their draft class who enjoyed a breakout first half for a club that punched above its weight considering its tumultuous and disappointing offseason. While All-Star competitions across different sports theoretically should feature the best vs. the best, adding a feel-good story to the mix would propel the status of an athlete who is still anonymous to the majority of casual fans.

Luka Doncic 

Last January, in-arena cameras appeared to capture the exact moment Dallas Mavericks then-rookie Luka Doncic learned he hadn’t made the All-Star team. Spoiler: He won’t have much to worry about this month. The 20-year-old who was the MVP of the opening half of the campaign (debate yourselves) began 2020 leading the Western Conference in fan All-Star voting, and he was averaging 28.9 PPG, 9.6 REB, and 8.8 AST on Jan. 15. Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports recently offered the following: “Only two players have ever posted a 28-9-9 over a full season — Robertson and Russell Westbrook — and nobody has done so at age 20.” 

Trae Young  

We understand Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young remains a defensive liability who sometimes seems to give minimal efforts in that aspect of his game. To borrow from ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith: We don’t care. The 21-year-old second-year pro currently leads all point guards in offensive real plus-minus, he sits in the top four overall in PPG (29.1) and AST (8.5) and he produced such impressive figures while John Collins served a 25-game suspension. The Hawks are awful — the worst team in the league. In time, discussions will arise regarding if Atlanta or any team can build a championship roster around a player who is a human traffic cone on defense. None of that should affect Young’s All-Star status. 

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By Zac Wassink  |  Last updated 1/15/20

Best team fits for players in NBA Draft

Yardbarker NBA draft analyst Brett Koremenos offers the best player-team fits in the June 20 draft. (Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and the Lakers, anyone?)

Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and Los Angeles Lakers

During the 2018-19 season, the Lakers ranked 29th in three-point field goal percentage. Garland may be one of the best shooters in the draft. Should major contributors Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kouzma and, of course, LeBron James be on the L.A. roster opening night, Garland will be in a perfect spot. There will be no pressure for him to start right away, a nice transition for a player who missed most of his only season at Vanderbilt because of a knee injury. If he were to land with the Lakers, Garland would play with a ball-dominant playmaker — either James or Ball — allowing Garland to do what he does best: shoot.

Texas’ Jaxson Hayes and Washington Wizards

When the aging Marcin Gortat was traded last year, Wizards franchise point guard John Wall lost arguably the best pick-and-roll partner he has had in D.C. Enter Hayes. Nothing would help a rookie center find his NBA footing like one of the league’s best passers. As for Wall, he’d find new life having a young, lob-catching big man to help him torture defenses.

Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Miami Heat

Ever since the Big Three left town, Miami has become the basketball version of the Island of Misfit Toys. From Josh Richardson to Justise Winslow to James Johnson, the Heat has taken players without a clearly defined position and found a way to make them work. For a hard-working but unrefined forward such as the 6-foot-8 Hachimura, Miami would be a godsend. Somehow Miami’s culture would likely find a way to ensure Hachimura becomes a valuable NBA contributor.

Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson and Detroit Pistons

Detroit’s recent mediocrity mostly can be linked to sub-par wing play. Johnson’s game isn’t super-sexy, but he’s an energetic defender with a jump shot that should require respect from NBA three-point territory. 

Tennessee’s Grant Williams and Utah Jazz

With Donovan Mitchell emerging as the offensive star and Rudy Golbert anchoring the defense, the Jazz isn’t desperate for star power. Instead, the team needs role players capable of executing their savvy brand of basketball and hitting open shots. That sounds exactly like what the rugged but instinctive Williams should bring. Although the shooting isn’t quite a sure thing (yet), the Tennessee forward would carve out a rotation spot quickly in Utah.

Arizona State’s Lu Dort and Portland Trail Blazers

Perhaps the biggest flaw in Dort’s game is the decisions he makes with the ball in his hands. When you play for the Portland Trail Blazers, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard handle those situations. With the Blazers, Dort could emerge as the perfect defensive yin to Lillard and McCollum’s offensive yang. The strong and athletic guard could handle tough backcourt assignments, allowing Portland’s bucket-getting duo to focus solely on tormenting defenses.

Washington’s Matisse Thybulle and San Antonio Spurs

Over the past two decades, the Spurs have developed a reputation. San Antonio will take a raw wing player and, almost under the cover of night, develop him into a crucial cog in their playoff machine. Thybulle has made a name for himself as an athletic, disruptive 6-foot-5 defender oozing potential but lacking refinement. He spent time at Washington playing in a 2-3 zone and doesn’t have much in the way of offensive skills. If any team could unlock Thybulle’s potential and turn him into a two-way force, it’s the Spurs.

Georgia’s Nic Claxton and Brooklyn Nets

After making an appearance in this year’s playoffs, the Nets finally got a chance to show off their innovative offense. It was orchestrated by young players who benefited from the great developmental process in Brooklyn. If you squint hard enough, Claxton has the makings of a rangy, perimeter-savvy center with a respectable outside shot. But like unfinished sculpture, Claxton needs a team to chip away the rough edges. For a Nets offense that likes to have all its players capable of handling themselves behind the three-point line, Claxton would be a perfect addition

Full List

By: Brett Koremenos

I Stand Corrected, Some People Go To Utah; Thabo Goes To Utah For Two Years

Written by ESPN News Staff at

The Utah Jazz have agreed to a two-year deal with free-agent swingman Thabo Sefolosha, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Sefolosha, 33, spent the past three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. He averaged 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 62 regular-season games (42 starts) in 2016-17, but he fell out of favor in the postseason, playing just eight minutes in a six-game series against Washington.

The 6-foot-7 swingman, who is known for his defense, had previous stops with the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder before signing with Atlanta in 2014.

He suffered a broken leg when police officers arrested him outside a Manhattan nightclub in April 2015. He needed surgery and missed the Hawks’ postseason run to the Eastern Conference finals that year.

Sefolosha sued the New York Police Department, claiming false arrest, excessive force, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment. The sides settled for $4 million this past April.

Sefolosha said he would donate a “substantial” portion of that amount to an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps support and train public defenders across the country.

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Trey Burke Tells You Something You Already Knew: No One Wants To Go To Utah

Written by Kyle Boone at CBS

Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Jazz, is not a major market like Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay area, where the Lakers and Warriors play. It’s not a typical free-agent destination. And as we’ve seen recently with Gordon Hayward, it’s tough to hang on to big-name players once they develop.

Former Utah guard Trey Burke twisted the knife in for Jazz fans via Twitter, explaining that no one wants to play in Utah.

Pressed by a fan why he felt that way, Burke seemed to take offense to the angry reaction from some fans when Hayward left town for the Boston Celtics.

Dubs Sweep Jazz, Head To WCF

Written by Chris Haynes at

The Golden State Warriors swept the Utah Jazz to advance to the Western Conference finals for the third consecutive year, following a 121-95 victory on Monday night.

Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Warriors are a perfect 8-0 this postseason. It is the second time that two teams have been undefeated entering the conference finals under the current playoff format (since 1983-84).

It is the first time the Warriors have swept two series in a postseason and the first time they have swept back-to-back series. Utah was stifled all evening, shooting a postseason-low 37.1 percent from the field.

“I thought for the most part we were in tune with what our coverages needed to be,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “One of the things we kept telling our guys: We didn’t want them to be comfortable offensively. We wanted to get up into them and force the issue.”

Stephen Curry produced a game-high 30 points to go with five rebounds and seven assists. He was 4-for-10 from beyond the arc and connected on all eight of his free throws.

Klay Thompson chipped in 21 points to bounce back from a 1-for-9 shooting night in Game 3. Kevin Durant followed his 38-point Game 3 by adding 18 points and six boards.

Draymond Green registered his third career postseason triple-double by way of 17 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He also was a dominating force defensively. Opponents were 5-for-15 from the field when he guarded them, and he defended the most shots for the Warriors on Monday.

“We got the best defender in the league. You can’t really pick on him. He’s 6-4, 6-3 maybe,” Durant said, jokingly misrepresenting Green’s height. “But playing the center position, you still can’t pick on him. You can’t throw the ball in the post and expect to get a basket or go at him on pick-and-rolls. He can switch out on them. I think that’s what starts our defensive intensity — it starts with him.”

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