Donovan Mitchell Trade Rumors: New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Miami Heat Top Potential Destinations For Star Shooting Guard
Donovan Mitchell is one of the best scorers in the NBA. In each of his five NBA seasons, Mitchell has averaged a minimum of 20.5 PPG. Over the last two seasons, Mitchell has averaged virtually 26 PPG: he averaged 26.4 points in 2020, and 25.9 points last season. Now that Rudy Gobert has been dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package of players and five first-round picks, the prospect of Mitchell carrying the Jazz to the playoffs one more year is bleak. In fact, the Utah Jazz announced yesterday that they were now ready to hear and consider potential trade scenarios.
Mitchell has expressed his interest in joining another team and potentially “coming home.” At the moment, the Miami Heat, the Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Knicks are the three teams that seem to have the best chance at acquiring Mitchell this offseason. The Toronto Raptors are also a dark horse who clearly have the assets to get a deal done. The question is whether Toronto would be willing to part ways with Scottie Barnes or OG Anunoby. If not, Utah likely won’t even entertain the conversation. Now, let’s start by looking at what it would take for the reigning No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference to acquire “Spidah.”
While there is some speculation that Donovan Mitchell could end up in Brooklyn, multiple factors point to the contrary. First, Mitchell came out on social media to diss former teammate Royce O’Neal for joining the Nets, specifically throwing shade at Ben Simmons.
Besides Mitchell’s hilarious yet provocative jab directed at Simmons, the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving saga continues to roll into mid-July. KD requested a trade from the organization in June. Only one day before, Kyrie Irving opted-in on his contract with the Nets for 2022-2023. If the Nets were to attempt trading their players for Mitchell, they would likely have to package Ben Simmons with some other players. At the moment, it seems more likely and realistic for the Knicks to trade for Donovan Mitchell than the Brooklyn Nets.
New York Knicks
One of the selling points for the Knicks to trade for Donovan Mitchell is their upcoming draft picks. Leon Rose and the front office tactfully achieved this by engaging in negotiations throughout the 2022 NBA Draft. First, the Knicks traded their draftee (No. 11 Overall) Ousmane Dieng to the Thunder in exchange for three 2023 first-round picks. Then, the Knicks packaged one of the upcoming first-round picks from the Dieng trade and four upcoming second-round picks to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for their first-round pick (No. 13 Overall) Jalen Duran. The third and final move the Knicks made during the 2022 NBA draft was packaging Duran and Kemba Walker to the Pistons in exchange for a 2025 first-round pick (protected 1-4). The Knicks used the 2022 NBA draft as an opportunity to earn future draft picks and clear cap space. With those three moves, the Knicks acquired two 2023 first-round picks and one 2025 first-round pick, and they cleared $18 million in cap space.
This means that the Knicks have three tradeable first-rounders drafted over the past few seasons: Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, and Quentin Grimes. R.J. Barrett is untradable as the Knicks plan to keep building around him. Therefore, the Knicks could package a combination of Quickley, Toppin, and Grimes alongside multiple first-round picks which could make for a very interesting offer for the Utah Jazz.
The New York Knicks are looking for a star player to join Julius Randle, R.J. Barrett, and the newly acquired Jalen Brunson. The most encouraging news for Knicks fans came from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst today. He explained the value of the teams’ first-round picks (players entering second or third year) and the upcoming first-round picks they acquired in the 2022 NBA Draft could be enough to get Utah’s blessing. New York has in order to acquire Mitchell.
Windhorst stated: “I think we’re going to hear a lot about Mitchell and the New York Knicks in the coming days.” Another huge factor to consider is where Donovan Mitchell wants to go. As a native New Yorker, Mitchell would certainly love a chance to play in NY. As opposed to the Nets who have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as potential trade options, the Knicks have an exuberant amount of first-round draft picks which Utah could bite on. In addition, there is no chance that either Kyrie or KD go to Utah, as both players are chasing championships and will have better options. For that reason, the Knicks seem to have the upper hand over Brooklyn in regards to trading for Donovan Mitchell.
Check out the trade below that we think would help both the Knicks and the Jazz:
Miami likely isn’t Mitchell’s destination of choice. However, the Heat need another consistent scorer who can nail jumpers from beyond the arc to compliment Jimmy Butler. Butler, and especially throughout the 2022 playoffs, was truly the only player the Heat could count on every night to score big. Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson have not been able to score 20+ points in back-to-back nights consistently. Miami’s offense has plenty of sharpshooters but they don’t have a trustworthy ball handler who can create scoring opportunities for himself. Miami’s offense could easily be patched up by bringing Donovan Mitchell to town. Still, the Heat are nowhere near the position the Knicks are in to acquire Mitchell, who will likely end up in New York.
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