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How Donovan Mitchell trade rumors leak

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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) moves around New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) during an NBA game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) moves around New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) during an NBA game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. The Jazz won 113-104.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

This article was first published as the Jazz Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Friday.

I thought that this might be a good time to be specific about how NBA information is disseminated. In particular, I want to talk about how information leaked about the possible upcoming trade of Donovan Mitchell points to an almost inevitable conclusion.

First of all, information about a trade of this magnitude usually only gets out because the parties involved want the information to get out. The motivations behind leaking something to the media can vary depending on the source — an agent might want to drive up value, an executive might want to gain the upper hand, another executive might want to create a bidding war, a player might want to increase the odds of a deal getting done, someone from within an organization could be looking at a power grab, etc.

Additionally, a trade rumor like the one involving Mitchell does not get leaked without the intention of a deal getting done. The Utah Jazz did a very good job of hedging on their plans early in the offseason. They didn’t come right out and say that they wouldn’t be trading Mitchell and they also didn’t get near saying they would.

Through the early weeks of the offseason, executives within the Jazz could have very easily told reporters what their long-term plans were, but they didn’t. They were tight-lipped right up to a point. Then, once a couple of reporters had been tipped off that trade talks were underway, you might have noticed that more and more reporters confirmed and added to the original story.

That’s all very normal. After the initial shockwave of news being broken, if sources close to a situation want to keep a message consistent, they will take calls from multiple reporters and reiterate the same kind of details to multiple people. It’s very intentional.

Once the cat was out of the bag and the news leaked that the Jazz were in talks with the New York Knicks on a possible deal to move the three-time All-Star, everyone in the Jazz front office knew it would be difficult (nearly impossible) to wrangle the cat back into the bag.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the awkwardness and uneasiness that might permeate through a franchise if you tell people that you are in advanced discussions to trade a star player, only to then have things fall through and him be left on the roster to start the season.

That’s not what the Jazz want, that’s not what the Knicks want and that’s not what anyone who could possibly become involved in a trade wants. If that was a distinct possibility, I don’t believe that this news would have come out at all. So the fact that you probably keep reading and hearing from different outlets that the Jazz will inevitably get a deal done to move Mitchell is not a surprise. That is the intention and the intention behind how the news has been reported.

New with the Jazz

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check out “Unsalvageable” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).

This week the crew talks about the possible trade of Donovan Mitchell and answers listener questions about the Jazz, the NBA and everything in between. Also, a new episode is coming up this weekend so be on the lookout for more Unsalvageable content!

The podcast has moved to a new feed so remember to follow or subscribe by searching for “Unsalvageable” through your podcast provider.

New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

From the archives

This week in Jazz history

On July 24, 1963, Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone was born in Summerfield, Louisiana. Malone would eventually spend 18 years with the Jazz and earn two NBA MVPs and become a 14-time All-Star during his tenure in Utah.

How to pass the time in the offseason

Now that the Jazz season has come to an end, it means that I have some time to catch up on the things that I love but don’t have enough time for during the NBA season. Here I’ll suggest my latest way to pass the offseason time and also take your suggestions.

My beloved canine companion received a harsh and difficult diagnosis this week and to say it was heartbreaking feels like an understatement.

The love of a pet is undeniably one of the most unconditional types of love there is and for 11 years it has been my great joy to love my dog, Khaleesi. For whatever amount of time I have left with her it’s my intention to love and spoil her as much as possible and I urge any of my readers who have pets to savor every moment you have with your furry family members.

This week, take them for that extra walk to their favorite place, give them an extra treat, slip them a piece of bacon under the dining room table, play fetch, rub their bellies, scratch behind their ears and let them know that you love them, because you never know when you’ll be told that your days together are numbered.

Extra points

  • Johnny Juzang could be the Jazz’s next developmental success story (Deseret News)
  • The Knicks have the pieces to make a Donovan Mitchell deal happen (The Athletic)
  • Malik Beasley wants to change his reputation (Salt Lake Tribune)

Around the league

James Harden inks two-year deal with Philadelphia 76ers.

Hornets’ Miles Bridges charged with felony domestic violence and child abuse.

NBA fines Warriors owner Joe Lacob $500,000 for critique of league luxury tax.