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Report: Donovan Mitchell still upset with Rudy Gobert

Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 06: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz and Rudy Gobert #27 talk against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center on January 06, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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In the wake of their coronavirus diagnoses, Donovan Mitchell held a grudge toward Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert.

Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Tony Jones of The Athletic:

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.

In the two travel days leading into Utah’s game at Oklahoma City, Gobert and Mitchell shared space on a regular basis, sitting near each other on buses and the team plane, according to sources. Still, there’s no way to know if Gobert gave it to Mitchell or if it was the other way around or some other factor. That’s something the team tried to make clear to Mitchell, according to sources.

It doesn’t really matter whether Gobert gave it to Mitchell or Mitchell gave it to Gobert – or neither. Gobert’s reckless
actions made him more likely both to contract and spread coronavirus. Even if neither he nor Gobert got coronavirus, Mitchell would have reason to be upset with Gobert’s irresponsible behavior.

Of course, both players getting coronavirus heightened feelings. It’s easier to be results-oriented than process-oriented.

Gobert has apologized and put his money where his mouth is. Mitchell and Gobert have both recovered. Those are important steps in their relationship healing.

Yet, the rift apparently remains – which is quite concerning. What changes now? An apology and recovery were major potentially situation-altering events, and they weren’t sufficient.

Every relationship is salvageable. It might not seem that way in the heat of the moment, but it’s never too late. It’d probably help if Gobert and Mitchell met face-to-face. It’s easier to hold a grudge from a distance. That can’t happen for a while with most of the country in some form of lockdown, though.

There are also other deadlines in Utah.

Gobert and Mitchell will be eligible for contract extensions next offseason. Both are headed toward 2021 free agency. The Jazz hold far more control over Mitchell, who’d be a restricted free agent if unextended.

Before extension talks, Utah wants to make a deep playoff run this season. Mitchell and Gobert would be central to that, and disrupted chemistry between the team stars could be quite damaging.