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Friday, July 19, 2024
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Utah Jazz Continue to Spend, Underachieve in Postseason

  • The Jazz failed to make it out of the first round despite working with the sixth-highest payroll in the NBA.
  • Star Donovan Mitchell said he'll evaluate about his future with the team next week.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Jazz have built a perennial contender on paper and usually thrive in the regular season, but they once again have little to show for it since drafting Donovan Mitchell in 2017.

On Thursday, they were eliminated by a Mavericks team that played three games without Luka Doncic. After finishing with the best record in the NBA last season, they fell to the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard in the West semifinals. 

They’ve been nothing more than regular-season overachievers — they’ve advanced past the first round twice since 2017 — despite spending $153 million on this team (6th-highest in the NBA).

  • Mitchell signed a max rookie extension in 2020 — a five-year, $195M contract.
  • Last offseason, Rudy Gobert’s five-year, $205M deal made him the highest-paid center in NBA history.
  • Over the past four seasons, the Jazz’s .633 regular-season win percentage (2nd NBA) drops to .414 in the postseason

Utah doesn’t necessarily need to blow up the team, but perhaps this iteration of the Jazz has run its course.

Mitchell has expressed frustrations with co-star Gobert on several occasions and said he’ll “think” about his future with the team next week.

It’s no easy task for a small-market team like the Jazz to attract superstar free agents, but they can capitalize on the trade market for at least one of their two stars.

If not, they might be stuck in NBA limbo — they’re already $6.6 million over the luxury tax threshold for 2022-23.

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