Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

With the Kevin Durant saga now over after he and the Brooklyn Nets agreed to continue their partnership heading into the season, all eyes now shift to the Utah Jazz and All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. While Mitchell hasn’t formally requested a trade from Utah, he reportedly has a list of preferred destinations if it were to happen. 

The Nets, New York Knicks and Miami Heat are on Mitchell’s list, per Tony Jones. The Knicks have been considered the frontrunners to land Mitchell given the assets they possess, but Utah is reportedly getting offers from other teams.

Per Jones:

“Utah and the New York Knicks have had ongoing discussions, but those talks have not yielded progress to the point of a trade being imminent. As those talks have lingered, the Jazz have begun fielding offers from other teams, league sources tell The Athletic. As of Thursday morning, the Jazz have multiple offers on the table for Mitchell from teams other than the Knicks that they deem intriguing and worth pursuing, according to sources.  … Offers, sources say, that the Jazz feel are worth pursuing should talks between Utah and the Knicks stall.”

There aren’t specifics on which teams the Jazz have been in talks with, or what those deals even look like, and there’s a chance this also could be a ploy by Utah to get the Knicks to up their offer. The last time the Knicks and Jazz engaged in trade discussions for Mitchell, New York “backed away” from the talks after Utah asked for six future first-round draft picks plus Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin and Miles McBride. The two sides have since re-engaged in trade talks, but it sounds as though the Jazz are trying to push the Knicks to offer more in a deal for Mitchell by mentioning that they’re talking to other teams.

Although other teams aren’t named in the report, if Michell’s preferred destinations are the Nets and Heat in addition to the Knicks, then perhaps those are the teams Utah is talking to. In order for Mitchell to land with the Nets, Ben Simmons would either need to be included in the deal or sent somewhere else given the Designated Rookie extension rule that forbids you from having two players acquired through trades who are on rookie max extensions. 

In regards to the Heat, they’ve been attached to Mitchell for quite some time. However, Utah has already made it clear to Miami that in order for them to acquire Mitchell, it would need to bring in a third team to pull a deal off as the Heat don’t have enough assets.

With Miami and Brooklyn both facing obstacles to land Mitchell, it all circles back to the Knicks, who have a wealth of draft picks to trade and young talent on team-friendly deals that the Jazz are looking for. It’s just a matter of how much New York is willing to give up to get the three-time All-Star. The Jazz are “comfortable” heading into the season with Mitchell still on the roster, per Jones, so if Utah doesn’t find a deal from the Knicks or elsewhere in the league, we could be waiting awhile before he gets traded.

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