September 26, 2022

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The Utah Jazz have a number of viable reasons to explore a Donovan Mitchell trade. Even when they had Rudy Gobert, they had proven time and time again that they weren’t capable of winning a championship. Without him, they had no obvious way to rebuild a prospect before Mitchell’s free agency in 2025. Outside free agents rarely want to come to Utah. Even if they did, the Jazz have had no cap flexibility this season. Their only viable path forward is through the draft. Mitchell’s deal would fill a boatload.

The dream scenario with any draft pick is to land a player like Mitchell. That’s what critics of a potential Mitchell trade would say. Why trade him for players who may never be that good? His Andy Larsen Salt Lake Tribune offered an explanation: the entire NBA seems to think Mitchell is on his way out the door. Larsen reports that “the overwhelming feeling among league insiders is that Mitchell is likely to sign out of Utah at the first available opportunity in 2025” and that his preference would be to play in a bigger market.

According to Larsen, Mitchell considers New York his home. He spends most of his offseason there, and not coincidentally, the Knicks have so far been the most aggressive team in trying to trade him. So far, no package has materialized, but with eight tradeable first-round picks, there’s certainly a deal to be found.

Mitchell is also reportedly interested in playing in Miami. Their path to obtaining it is a bit more complex. While they can offer young guard Tyler Herro in a deal, they only have two tradeable first-round picks right now. They can take as many as three with some maneuvering, and they can also offer several first-round trades, but ultimately they can’t offer what the Knicks can.

Regardless of where he ends up, it’s become painfully obvious that Mitchell doesn’t intend to spend his career with the Jazz. Whether it’s an offseason trade or the future, the Jazz seem to have come to terms with their need to rebuild.

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