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Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale shine on opening night with new teams

SHARE Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale shine on opening night with new teams
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert speaks

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert speaks to the crowd before the team’s NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, in Minneapolis.

Abbie Parr, Associated Press

The Utah Jazz traded away four of their starters this offseason. On Wednesday night all four debuted with their new teams.

If you were wondering how they fared, you’ve come to the right place.

Rudy Gobert

The Minnesota Timberwolves are still figuring things out. They’ve brought on a lot of new players and there are going to be kinks that need to be worked through as the season goes on, but one thing that remains true is that Rudy Gobert is still very good at basketball.

Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns seem to already have some good chemistry working together, with Towns throwing lobs to Gobert during their 2022-23 debut together.

But even when some of the other players on the Wolves roster struggled to find efficiency on Wednesday, Gobert was solid. He finished the night with 23 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block and nearly drained his first NBA 3-pointer. Though the shot went in, the release point was just inside the arc.

The Timberwolves beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-108.

Donovan Mitchell

In his regular-season debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 31 points, adding nine assists, two rebounds and had two steals.

While Cleveland came up short against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night — losing 108-105, a point that was quietly mentioned by some players in the Jazz locker room following the Jazz’s win over the Denver Nuggets — Mitchell was praised by just about everyone for his flashy debut and said that as he’s getting used to his new role, he’s also finding a new sense of camaraderie.

According to the Athletic’s Kelsey Russo, Mitchell pointed out how much each of the players on his new team really enjoys the company of one another.

“You see this group really gets each other, they get along, they like each other,” Mitchell said. “It’s something that really doesn’t go unnoticed day to day. I think that’s one thing that you enjoy coming to the facility, being around each other, being around the guys. And I think that’s awesome.”

Bojan Bogdanovic

You probably could have guessed that Bojan Bogdanovic was going to very quickly endear himself to whatever team he ended up on, and that’s exactly what’s happened with the Detroit Pistons.

In their season-opening game against the Orlando Magic, Bogdanovic finished with a team-high 24 points, shooting 6-of-10 from 3-point land and added five rebounds, two assists and a steal in the Pistons’ 113-109 win.

Royce O’Neale

The Brooklyn Nets did not have the best night. The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Nets, 130-108. But in the Nets’ starting lineup, with a solid statline and familiar flair was Royce O’Neale.

He finished with 10 points, hitting 2-of-3 from downtown, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out three assists and had an impressive three steals and two blocks in his first game in Brooklyn.