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Was Donovan Mitchell concerned about playing with Jimmy Butler?

Mitchell denied the rumor on Twitter.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Miami Heat reportedly pursued both Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell over the 2022 off-season. And earlier today, Ethan Skolnick of the 5 Reasons Sports Network said on the Miami Heat Beat that Mitchell “was a little concerned about playing with Jimmy Butler.”

Skolnick said that Mitchell was happy to play with Bam Adebayo, who was drafted just one spot ahead of Adebayo at the end of the lottery in 2017. And Skolnick said that Mitchell would have accepted a trade to Miami, but didn’t push for it — as Butler pushed for a sign-and-trade to Miami in 2019. Butler’s willingness to join the Heat gave Miami leverage to offer the Philadelphia 76ers Josh Richardson in return for Butler, and for the Sixers to accept it.

For what it’s worth, Mitchell denied the rumor on his Twitter account.

Before Butler joined the Heat, he earned a reputation in some circles as a bad teammate — most infamously during his departure from the Minnesota Timberwolves. But Butler’s success with the Heat — two deep playoff runs, including multiple remarkable playoff performances — quieted those criticisms.

But did Mitchell look askance at the prospect of playing with Butler? Who knows. Skolnick said that someone “from the Dwyane [Wade] tree” would need to push for a trade to Miami. Butler was open about the fact that Wade told him the Heat culture fits him. And Mitchell is part of that tree was well. But Mitchell didn’t push to be traded to the Heat, as Butler did.