Donovan Mitchell trades we want to see — including a chance to get Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons out of Brooklyn

Donovan Mitchell trades we want to see — including a chance to get Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons out of Brooklyn post thumbnail image

After previously shutting down any chance of trading 25-year-old superstar Donovan Mitchell, Utah has had a change of heart, as rival teams across the league say the Jazz are now open to trading their three-time All-Star, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday.

But in order for Utah to trade away its star player after recently unloading three-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert, teams know they will have to back up the Brinks truck.

Mitchell has four years and $134.9 million remaining on the maximum extension he signed during the 2020 offseason, with the final season, 2025-2026, being a player option for $37.1 million. And after former coach Quin Snyder resigned, the haul the Jazz received for Gobert and the Royce O’Neal deal, there’s no question major changes are looming in Salt Lake City.

Could Brooklyn unload Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons in a four-team trade to and land Mitchell?

Is Oklahoma City willing to dive into its bevy of first-round picks for the superstar guard?

Would Miami ship out a fraction of its young core, including Tyler Herro and several picks, to chase a championship?

Our NBA insiders are breaking down their favorite potential blockbusters.

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The Knicks get their star

New York receives:
Donovan Mitchell
Rudy Gay

Utah receives:
Evan Fournier
Cam Reddish
Obi Toppin
Miles McBride
Knicks’ 2023, 2025 and 2027 first-round picks
Mavericks’ 2023 pick (top-10 protected)
Wizards’ 2023 pick (top-14 protected)

The Knicks already landed one of the guards they watched when a couple of their high-ranking executives just happened to show up in prime seats for the Jazz-Mavericks playoff series opener, poaching Jalen Brunson from Dallas in free agency.

It’s no secret Mitchell has been atop the Knicks’ wish list since Leon Rose was hired to run the franchise. The Jazz, as proven by the haul Utah received in the Gobert deal, want to stock up on first-round picks, create financial flexibility and take some flyers on inexpensive young talent.

This deal would be a win in all of those departments and launch the Jazz into a full-fledged rebuild with a ton of draft capital as the foundation of that project.

The Knicks are loaded with picks, owning all of their own moving forward and protected 2023 picks from Dallas, Detroit and Washington, although the latter two are likely to convey in later years.

Those picks were stockpiled in hopes of parlaying them into a proven star like Mitchell. Toppin has shown promise and has two years left on his rookie deal. Reddish, a former No. 10 overall pick, and McBride would be swings at young players with no guaranteed salary beyond the 2022-23 season.

Fournier has three years and $55.9 million remaining on his contract, including a team option in the final season, and would be a strong candidate to be traded elsewhere at some point.

Gay, 35, was a healthy scratch in the playoffs and is due $12.7 million over the next two seasons, so the Jazz will be motivated to unload him in a Mitchell deal.

— Tim MacMahon


Bienvenido a Miami, Mitchell

Utah receives:
Tyler Herro
Nikola Jovic
Duncan Robinson
Gabe Vincent
2023, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks

Miami receives:
Donovan Mitchell
Udoka Azubuike

Oklahoma City receives:
2025 first-round pick via Miami (protections removed)
2024 second-round pick (top-50 protected)
2028 and 2029 second-round picks

Once upon a time, the Heat could point to Herro as the kind of centerpiece in a deal that might compensate for their inability to offer as many draft picks as the Knicks.

With the haul the Jazz got for Gobert, though, that argument likely went out the window. To have any hope of landing Mitchell, Miami would likely have to offer both Herro and a full arsenal of picks. Doing so requires involving the Thunder, who own the Heat’s 2025 first-round pick with top-14 protection after the two teams altered the terms prior to this year’s deadline.

To amend them again and remove the protection on what could become a weaker pick with Mitchell in Miami, Oklahoma City picks up all three remaining Heat second-round picks. With that protection removed, Miami can offer three unprotected first-round picks plus Nikola Jovic, the No. 27 pick in the 2022 draft (because Jovic signed his rookie contract on July 2, this deal couldn’t be finalized until Aug. 1, a waiting period that shouldn’t affect things much at this part of the offseason.)

In addition to Herro and Jovic, Utah gets Duncan Robinson (for matching salary purposes) and Gabe Vincent, who has developed into a quality contributor with one year remaining at a minimum salary.

Lastly, the Heat sweeten this offer by taking back Jazz center Udoka Azubuike, who’s unlikely to be part of the team’s long-term plans.

At some point, Miami might have to consider whether giving up all of the team’s draft equity for Mitchell is worth it with a Durant trade still possible. To some extent, that decision hinges on the Heat’s timetable.

Durant turns 34 in September, which puts him in the same range as Miami starters Jimmy Butler (33 in September) and Kyle Lowry (36).

By contrast, the 25-year-old Mitchell would reset the Heat’s timeline and align it with 24-year-old center Bam Adebayo. And if Miami doesn’t think the Nets will ultimately trade Durant, this might be its best chance to land a third star while Butler is in his late prime.

— Kevin Pelton

play

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Brian Windhorst details the potential trade packages for Donovan Mitchell and why the Knicks could land him.


Mitchell moves north

Toronto receives:
Donovan Mitchell

Utah receives:
Gary Trent Jr.
Malachi Flynn
Khem Birch 2023, 2025 and 2027 first-round picks

The Raptors would be upgrading their lineup with a bonafide franchise offense creator. Mitchell ranked No. 1 among shooting guards in Real Plus Minus last season, with the seventh-best offensive RPM score in the league (trailing only Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trae Young, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic and LeBron James).

The Raptors have one of the most talented and unique frontcourts in the NBA, and adding Mitchell to 2022 All-Star Fred VanVleet in the backcourt would allow them to become legitimate contenders in the East.

The Jazz would receive a package akin to what they received in the Gobert deal. Trent is a good young wing at only 23 years old, and the three additional No. 1s would raise their stockpile to eight extra No. 1s (in addition to their own) over the next five years, competing with the Thunder for the largest cache in the league.

— Andre Snellings


OKC cashes in some of its draft chips

Oklahoma City receives:
Donovan Mitchell

Utah receives:
Tre Mann
Derrick Favors
JaMychal Green
Aleksej Pokusevski
2024 Utah first-round pick (from the Favors trade)
2024 Clippers first-round pick (top-2 protected)
2024 Rockets first-round pick (if 5-30)
2025 Heat first-round pick (top-14 protected)
2025 76ers first-round pick (if 7-30)

After appearing in the playoffs 10 out of 11 seasons, Oklahoma City has taken a methodical approach on how its roster is being constructed.

Instead of possessing All-Stars like Russell Westbrook, Durant, James Harden and Chris Paul, the Thunder have started a rebuild that centers around a young core — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren, an abundance of draft capital and future cap flexibility.

For head of basketball operations Sam Presti, roster sustainability is the only goal in how this team is put together. Presti has preached patience, but there will be a time when the Thunder will be faced with a decision.

Do they push some of their draft equity to the middle for a chance to acquire a player like Mitchell, or wait until the next disgruntled All-Star becomes available and continue to focus on player development in the meantime?

A Mitchell trade to the Thunder does not mean the first-round picks Presti accumulated are wiped clean, though. Instead of unprotected firsts that opposing teams will offer Utah, Oklahoma City should take the quantity over quality approach.

The five first-round picks in the trade (including the Jazz first in 2024 that was sent in the Derrick Favors trade) are considered tier-B draft picks. None of them are the Thunder’s own and each has some type of protection in at least the first year.

The Thunder would also retain the two unprotected firsts (2024 and 2026) that were acquired in the Paul George trade, along with a top-5 protected first from Houston in 2026 and a Denver top-6 protected first in 2027.

For Utah, is a blue-chip prospect like guard Tre Mann and an unprecedented five first-round picks the best offer on the board? Or should they take the Thunder’s offer and leverage a team like the Knicks to offer more.

Including the four first-round picks acquired in the Gobert trade, Utah would have the most first-round picks of any team, while also setting a goal much like what Oklahoma City is currently doing — building roster sustainability.

— Bobby Marks


The trade that might break NBA Twitter

Brooklyn receives:
Donovan Mitchell
Mikal Bridges
Myles Turner

Phoenix receives:
Kevin Durant

Indiana receives:
Deandre Ayton

Utah receives:
Ben Simmons
Phoenix picks in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029
Phoenix swaps in 2024, 2026 and 2028

Let’s just wrap up all league business for the summer and go home. In this deal, the following things would get taken care of:

• Durant would get out of Brooklyn, as he’d like to do, and would go to the Suns, one of the teams he said he’d like to play for.

Deandre Ayton would get the big payday that he’d like, and the Suns would move on from him after it seemed both sides were ready for a breakup after Phoenix’s disappointing second-round exit against the Mavericks. Moving Ayton to Indiana in a swap for Turner would also solve some of the base year compensation issues that will make a sign-and-trade deal for him difficult because of Indiana’s cap space.

• Utah gets an absolute haul for Mitchell, getting Phoenix’s draft picks for the next several years in addition to taking a free swing on Simmons.

• Brooklyn gets Mitchell, Bridges and Turner back for Durant, allowing this team to move forward with a young, intriguing core while also having the flexibility to move on from Kyrie Irving in another deal if the Nets so choose. The deal also prevents Brooklyn from going completely backwards after giving up several years of control over its draft picks in last year’s Harden trade.

It goes without saying that executing a four-team trade like this would be no easy feat. But it would shake everything up across the board and accomplish current objectives for all teams involved.

— Tim Bontemps



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