What Could Other Suitors Offer In Donovan Mitchell Trade?

Jul 26, 2022, 5:18 PM


De'Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings defends Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz have been actively listening to trade offers for Donovan Mitchell, with the New York Knicks acting as front runners in early discussions surrounding the All-Star guard’s availability.

However, over the weekend The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Mitchell sweepstakes were far from a one-horse race with the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, and Atlanta Hawks also making bids for the All-Star guard.

While the basic framework of a Mitchell-to-the-Knicks swap has been well detailed, what could these other suitors offer the Jazz in exchange for the face of the franchise?

Let’s take a look at the assets each team has to offer and how they could structure a deal to outbid the Knicks in a Donovan Mitchell trade.

Miami Heat

The Heat and Knicks have been the two teams most frequently mentioned in the hunt for Mitchell, and have been for the last several seasons.

Mitchell spends time during the summers working out in Miami and Manhattan, and is a close friend of Heat star Bam Adebayo, so, here’s the type of package they cut put together to land the All-Star.


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Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell

Heat Outgoing:

  • Tyler Herro
  • Duncan Robinson
  • Max Strus
  • Nikola Jovic
  • 2023 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2027 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2029 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

The Heat are difficult trade partners due to their somewhat limited draft capital and lack of lottery-level young players.

Tyler Herro is one of the NBA’s more polarizing players with some people in NBA circles thinking he is a star in the making, and others thinking he’s topped out as a high-scoring sixth man on a playoff team.

That makes it difficult to gauge his true financial value, especially considering he’ll be asking for a near-max contract beginning in the 2023-24 NBA season.

Duncan Robinson has negative trade value after being benched in the playoffs despite having three years and nearly $60 million left on his contract. Miami is likely going to have to cough up a future first-round in any trade to push Robinson off their books, and that could increase the asking price the Jazz could demand for Mitchell.

But, because Miami has already traded their 2025 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it makes it more difficult for them to trade either their 2024 or 2026 first-round picks due to the Stepien Rule.

Max Strus and Nikola Jovic are intriguing young pieces and could be parts of the Jazz core going forward, but the major value in the deal would surround Herro, and three future unprotected first-round picks.

Washington Wizards

The Wizards have been looking for an All-Star teammate to pair with Bradley Beal since injuries derailed John Wall’s career, and Mitchell fits the bill, even if the two players’ skillsets are somewhat redundant.

Washington is a bit hamstrung by a lack of proven young talent on the roster and a good-but-not-great treasure chest of draft picks.


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Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell

Wizards Outgoing:

  • Kyle Kuzma
  • Deni Avdija
  • Johnny Davis
  • Corey Kispert
  • Isaiah Todd
  • Vernon Carey Jr. 
  • 2025 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2027 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2029 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

In this deal, the Wizards would have to give up former University of Utah star Kyle Kuzma largely to make salaries work because the Jazz won’t have any interest in a deal centered around Kristaps Porzingis.

The Jazz could in turn look to move Kuzma for other assets, the same way they’re like to shop Patrick Beverley and Malik Beasley who they acquired in the Rudy Gobert deal.

Johnny Davis was the 10th overall pick in June’s NBA Draft and is the type of high-scoring young player the Jazz could conceivably begin to build around alongside Walker Kessler depending on how the two rookie first-rounders look next season.

Corey Kispert was a lottery pick last season and another young player the Jazz would covet in any Mitchell trade, while Deni Avdija is still young at 21 years old, though his first two seasons in the NBA have been underwhelming.

Washington could potentially swap Rui Hachimura for Kispert or Avdija in trade and the salaries would still work, with Isaiah Todd and Vernon Carey being thrown into the trade to avoid being hard-capped.

The crux of the trade for the Jazz would be the rookie Davis, Kispert, and the three unprotected future first-round picks (plus potential draft swaps), but it could be too many moving pieces for the Wizards.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were named early in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, though those rumors quickly cooled after it was reported that Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes is unavailable in trade talks.

With Barnes off the table, the Raptors lack valuable young players that the Jazz would have interest in, though their draft assets are workable.


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Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell

Raptors Outgoing:

  • OG Anunoby
  • Gary Trent Jr. 
  • Precious Achiuwa
  • 2023 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2025 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2027 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2029 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

OG Anunoby has been one of the most popular names in trade talks this summer not because he’s a budding star, but because he’s the type of defensive-minded, complementary scoring wing that most championship teams seem to have on their roster.

On top of that, he’s appropriately priced with two years and roughly $35 million left on his contract.

Similarly, Gary Trent Jr. has proven to be a strong scorer, and at just 23 years old, has a lot of good basketball ahead of him.

Unfortunately for the Jazz, neither player fits their current rebuilding timeline, and both would be acquired with the simple goal of being traded again during the season for additional future assets.

Precious Achiuwa has had an up and down first two seasons in the NBA, but has upside as a defender and rebounder, and is worth a flyer for the Jazz over the next few seasons.

The Raptors’ trade options are some of the weakest of teams mentioned by Charania, but their ability to include four future unprotected first-round picks and two players who could likely be turned into additional draft capital brings some value.

Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are perhaps a surprise team to show up on this list but have been looking to make a splash on the trade market to push themselves into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.

LaMelo Ball is already a star and pairing him with a true go-to scorer could unlock his full potential even earlier in his career.


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Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell

Hornets Outgoing:

  • Mason Plumlee
  • Kelly Oubre
  • Kai Jones
  • James Bouknight
  • JT Thor
  • 2023 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2025 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2027 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2029 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

The Hornets have a serious lack of proven young talent to offer the Jazz, which is why they would have to include four future unprotected first-round picks and likely draft swaps in the coming seasons.

The Jazz are extremely thin both at center and on the wing and could patch those holes now with Mason Plumlee and Kelly Oubre while looking to reroute them for future assets during the season. If not, both players expire next summer giving the Jazz added cap relief 12 months from now.

Charlotte had a treacherously bad performance in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft selecting James Bouknight and Kai Jones who combined to appear in just 52 games during their rookie seasons despite playing positions of need for the Hornets.

Both players need a lot of room to develop, as does JT Thor who is raw but had a promising showing during the most recent Las Vegas Summer League.

The Jazz could dedicate significant time to all three players in their development and would be happy to acquire a haul of future first-rounders in the process.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings are by far the most difficult team to create a compelling trade package around due to their lack of young players and tricky draft pick situation.

The Jazz would undoubtedly ask for rookie Keegan Murray in a Mitchell trade, and before the draft, that might have been doable. However, Murray lit up the competition in seven Summer League appearances and took home the Vegas MVP award which likely takes him off the table in trade talks.


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Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell
  • Rudy Gay

King Outgoing:

  • De’Aaron Fox
  • Davion Mitchell
  • Neemias Queta
  • 2026 & 2028 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • Or, 2027 & 2029 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

De’Aaron Fox is the highest-caliber player the Jazz would see return in any of these trade packages, but like Mitchell, he doesn’t fit the current timeline if the goal is a total rebuild.

Thus, he would be trade bait again throughout the season as the Jazz would look to acquire significant additional draft capital that the Kings are unable to offer.

Davion Mitchell was a top-10 pick last season, and after a so-so start to the season, he strung together 30 strong games to close the year and is the type of young piece the Jazz will want back in a Donovan Mitchell trade.

Neemias Queta is far from a sure thing, but he played well in Las Vegas during the summer league and is a low-cost swing for the Jazz in the trade.

Sacramento sent their 2024 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks and due to the protections on the selection, they can’t include any true first-round picks in a trade until 2028. However, they could make the 2024 pick fully unprotected (Atlanta would gladly agree), and could then send the Jazz either their 2027 and 2029 first-rounders or their 2026 and 2028 first-round selections.

The Kings would have to include multiple pick swaps in the trade, as well, and could swap Fox for a combination of Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes to make salaries match, but it’s difficult to complete a deal with Sacramento that doesn’t include Murray.

Atlanta Hawks

After trading for Dejounte Murray shortly before the draft, making a move for another backcourt player demanding 30 minutes a night doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Hawks.

However, Charania included them in his report, so let’s look at what they could offer the Jazz.


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Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell

Hawks Outgoing:

  • John Collins
  • De’Andre Hunter
  • Jalen Johnson
  • 2023 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2024 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2029 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

The Hawks have been looking to unload John Collins for several seasons, and now with a series of large contracts on the books teamed with an emerging Onyeka Okongwu, they’ve lost some leverage in his trade talks.

De’Andre Hunter was a rumored target in the Gobert trade that never materialized with Atlanta but would have to be completed for the Jazz interest, and Jalen Johnson is a near wildcard after appearing in just 22 games after being selected in the first round in 2022.

Because Atlanta owns the Kings 2024 first-round pick they are free to trade both their 2023 and 2024 first-round picks, but couldn’t trade another first until 2029.

The Hawks might balk at sending out three unprotected first-round picks in addition to Collins and Hunter, but Danny Ainge seems comfortable asking teams to empty their bank accounts in any potential Donovan Mitchell trade.

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What Could Other Suitors Offer In Donovan Mitchell Trade?