Rumors

What it Would Take For the Houston Rockets to Trade For Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell 

By N.B. Lindberg
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages
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There are rumors that Rudy Gobert has demanded that the Utah Jazz decide between him and Donovan Mitchell. Gobert quickly shot down the rumors, Tweeting, “Everyday has it’s own new “rumor.””

However, even if he doesn’t directly ask the franchise to break up the duo, there’s a good chance that Gobert and Mitchell have played their final game together. The Jazz’s recent run of playoff failures, combined with their thinly veiled shots at each other have created a situation that is trending towards, if not already, untenable. 

If the Jazz do split up the pair, then it could offer the Houston Rockets the chance to accelerate their rebuild and make a playoff push as soon as next season. While there are plenty of reasons not to swing a trade, this article will predominantly examine what it would take to get a deal done. 

What Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell Bring to the Table

The Rockets, after winning the fewest games in the league each of the past two seasons, would benefit tremendously from rostering either one of the Jazz’s two All-NBA quality stalwarts. 

The Rockets had the second-worst defensive rating in the league this past season, and if it wasn’t for the Trailblazers’ shameless tanking, they likely would have taken the bottom spot. Rudy Gobert is the league’s best rim protector and can singlehandedly prop up a team’s regular-season defense. Before the Rockets can be great at anything, they need to first be okay, and Gobert would almost assure of that on the defensive side. 

Donovan Mitchell, while a defensive negative, brings incredible juice on offense. The Rockets' offense, while not as bad as their defense, was still the fifth-worst in the league per 100 possessions. Mitchell would instantly improve the Rockets’ offense and could see them vault into the top ten depending on the internal development of their young core. A backcourt of Jalen Green and Donovan Mitchell would be one of the most dynamic in league history. 

There is no question that Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell would make the Rockets dramatically better. The question is, would the cost to acquire one of Gobert or Mitchell be worth it?

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