This offseason is going to be a pivotal one for the Utah Jazz. They have built up a solid roster that can consistently make the playoffs, but they always seem to fail to meet expectations once they get there. Rumors that star players Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are unhappy with the way things are going in Utah may finally come to a head this offseason.
Making matters worse, the Jazz may be forced to find a new head coach along the way too. Head coach Quin Snyder reportedly may end his eight-year tenure with Utah this offseason, as he has not committed to returning to the team next season despite having two years left on his current deal. Here’s a quick rundown of the situation from Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
“After weeks of conversations with ownership and management, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder’s future remains unclear and a possibility exists that he could decide to end his eight-year tenure with the franchise, sources told ESPN. While talks are described as “good faith” attempts at a resolution that will keep Snyder, discussions with owner Ryan Smith and CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge have yet to secure the coach’s return for next season, sources said.” Adrian Wojnarowski & Tim MacMahon, ESPN
The Jazz could undergo some profound changes this offseason if Snyder departs
You can add this to the laundry list of issues the Jazz may face this offseason. Snyder has been crucial in helping Utah go from one of the worst teams in basketball to a perennial playoff squad. But he cannot figure out how to get them over that hump and turn them into a serious title contender, and this report suggests that he may disagree with what the front office and team ownership wants moving forward.
There have been reports of tension in Utah for some time now, and this only adds to that. The Jazz have an unbelievably talented roster, but they always come up short in the postseason. They haven’t made it past the Western Conference semifinals in their previous six playoff trips. Given the talent on these teams, that is unacceptable.
How would Snyder’s departure impact the Jazz’s offseason?
Snyder leaving would make an already tough offseason in Utah even more challenging. They have virtually no money to use in free agency, a pair of stars in Mitchell and Gobert who may not want to play with each other anymore, and a fanbase that is demanding better results on the court. Add in a potential head coaching switch, and the Jazz could see some significant changes to their team this offseason.
The Jazz have struggled to find a way to get everyone on their team to work together and contribute to wins. Mitchell is undoubtedly one of the top players in the game, but he loves having the ball in his hands, and he loves to shoot, which has killed Utah at times. This feels like the offseason when Utah has to decide whether they will build around Mitchell for the future.
That may seem like an easy decision, but it isn’t. If the Jazz want to move Mitchell, there’s no doubt they could find a team willing to take him off their hands. They still have Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson on their roster, and while that’s a downgrade from Mitchell, they could use Mitchell to pick up more depth pieces, or maybe even a frontcourt star.
If they want to hold onto Mitchell, it may mean the end of Gobert’s time in Utah. Gobert has been the best defensive big man in the NBA over the past few years, but he was exposed at times this season when teams brought him out to the perimeter. He’s still a solid secondary scorer and rebounder, but his value decreases exponentially if he’s not holding his own on defense.
Snyder’s potential departure highlights the importance of this offseason for Utah. It feels like they cannot figure out how to take that last step forward into championship contender status. A team like the Boston Celtics have proven that sometimes a head coaching change could be all that’s needed to make the jump into championship contender status. But for some reason, it doesn’t feel like it will be that simple for the Jazz.