Could the Miami Heat land Donovan Mitchell?
Well, I’ve already made my case on why I wouldn’t think it happens, but amid the swirling trade discourse leaguewide right now, the Utah Jazz will now be listening to Donovan Mitchell offers after they reportedly weren’t previously, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski quickly pointed out that, according to his sources: “The asking price appears to be steep, but in the wake of Utah’s recent Rudy Gobert blockbuster deal to Minnesota, the Jazz are no longer simply dismissing calls on Mitchell.”
The asking price appears to be steep, but in the wake of Utah’s recent Rudy Gobert blockbuster deal to Minnesota, the Jazz are no longer simply dismissing calls on Mitchell, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2022
Take this with a grain of salt, but according to a Western Conference, the Heat made their interest in the 25-year-old guard — who has four years left on his deal — “clear”, according to South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. This shouldn’t come to much of a surprise, as Mitchell’s relationship with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo — particularly the latter — has risen speculation (and created plenty of jersey photoshops) about an eventual partnership between the Heat and Mitchell over the last few years.
The scout also mentioned that both Herro and Robinson — with picks — would have to go in the deal at the bare minimum, as expected. Miami can trade its 2023 and 2028 first-rounders outright, with swaps available in 2024, 2027 and 2029.
Spoke to a Western Conference scout today here in Vegas about Donovan Mitchell. He said he has heard Heat have made interest clear. The long-time scout said he would move Herro in such a deal. (Robinson, picks likely also would have to go out.)— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 12, 2022
Mitchell tallied 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season; he shot 44.8 percent from the floor, 35.5 percent from 3-point range and 85.3 percent from the 3-point line. Over his five-year Jazz career, the three-time All-Star’s posted 23.9 points, 4.2 boards, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals on 44.1/36.1/83.3 shooting splits.
Roughly 72 hours ago, Jazz general manager Justin Zanik illuminated that Mitchell was untouchable.
“I’m not trying to be cryptic or anything else, but Donovan is on our roster and he’s a very, very important part of what we’re trying to do,” Zanik said, according to ESPN. “Things evolve in the NBA, so I couldn’t sit here and say anybody is [untouchable]. We’re trying to build a championship team, but there’s no intent [to trade Mitchell], at all.”
Maybe Heat legend Dwyane Wade had something to do with it. Just theorizing, nobody knows!
It’s worth pointing out that a two-team deal would not work with just Herro ($5.7 million) Robinson ($16.9 million) and picks; since the Heat are a taxpaying team, they would need to send out approximately $2 million more to make the money match for Mitchell ($30.3M in ‘22-23). That would fall into the Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Omer Yurtseven and Haywood Highsmith price range. At least two of them would complete the deal — financially — without a third team involved.
Although I have my questions whether that would be enough regardless.
Multiple things don’t work in Miami’s favor. Let’s go over a few reasons why.
To begin with, Herro and Robinson could be seen as two polarizing players that other teams *might* not value as much as Miami does. The Heat are also dealing with Danny Ainge, and we know how much Pat Riley loves him. They’re best of friends, haven’t you heard?!
Miami’s also desperate for another star, which hurts their leverage in negotations. Both Ainge and Riley wants to win every trade they make — which general manager/final decsion-maker wouldn’t? — but who budges first?
In this case, it’s likely the latter. Regardless of Mitchell’s reported discontent with the Jazz organization (and understandably so!), with four years left on his deal, Utah doesn’t have to trade him now. Ainge certainly doesn’t have to deal him to Dade County if he doesn’t want to, and he could easily try to pry as many assets from Miami as possible — similarly to the absurd haul he received for Rudy Gobert.
Riley is desperate, and Ainge *should* everything in his power to take advantage of that. And, in my opinion, nothing’s suggested that anything otherwise will occur — placing Miami, who’s also competing for Kevin Durant, in a precarious negotiating position. What the outside — myself included — won’t know is where each team draw the line: For Miami, how much do I part with and for Utah, how much do I demand?
It would have to take a Mitchell “I want to get traded to Miami and only Miami” for it to be completely feasible. That part might never happen — but with how this league works, I’m not sure what will happen three hours from now, let alone days into the future. Nobody knows.
Mitchell has family ties in New York. So the Knicks are the de facto team to watch, above all. According to the Jazz reporter Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Knicks are expected to put together a package for him, stating “...the Knicks are the team that has the assets to make this a conversation.”
Expect the New York Knicks to quickly try and put together a package for Donovan Mitchell, according to league sources. Utah’s bar for Trading Mitchell is sky high. But the Knicks are the team that has the assets to make this a conversation— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) July 12, 2022
Could R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin and Evan Fournier with a litany of picks — not including their own, New York currently owns three first-round picks in 2023 (DAL, DET, WSH) and one in 2025 (MIL) — could a deal done? Absolutely! (Note: I’m spitballing here. Please don’t get inevitably mad at me Knicks fans for throwing out ideas.)
Nevertheless, it bears repeating that Utah’s asking price still might be too much.
One thing we do know is that Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg are going to try — and try hard. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that this gets completed. But anything can happen — something we all should recognize regardless of the outcome.
#LetDwyaneWadeCook, Danny. Let him.