When the Utah Jazz traded 3-time NBA defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, most assumed that the fire sale was underway in Utah and that All-Star Donovan Mitchell, who is currently on a 5-year, $163 million deal could be the next chip to fall.
But much like Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, the Jazz front office has not been able to find a trade offer for their All-Star guard they feel will fairly compensate them. As a result, trade talks have hit a standstill after a Mitchell trade seemed like a foregone conclusion.
But just as quickly as the fire died on a potential blockbuster trade, the talks reignited, as Shams Charania of “The Athletic” reports that the Knicks and Jazz have re-engaged in trade talks surrounding the All-Star guard.
“After several weeks of no conversations, the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz recently re-engaged in trade talks centered on Donovan Mitchell, league sources tell The Athletic,” Charania writes.
“Throughout trade talks, the Knicks have made their interest in Mitchell abundantly clear, one source with knowledge of the situation said. The Knicks and Jazz seriously discussed a Mitchell trade during the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League in mid-July but talks stalled out and led to nearly a month of inactivity between the sides. Now, with training camp just over one month away, the sides have re-ignited talks. Hurdles toward a deal remain.”
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Nets Waited for Mitchell to Hit Trade Market
While the drama surrounding the Nets and Kevin Durant’s trade request has taken many turns, one thing has remained consistent. That being Nets’ owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks’ unwillingness to deal Durant unless they get compensated adequately, even if that means a deal not getting done soon.
One executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney that the Nets front office was closely eyeing the situation with Donovan Mitchell in Utah waiting for him to become available.
“I think we all knew, eventually, the Jazz were going to budge on Donovan Mitchell and that’s what the Nets have been waiting for. They’d like to get him to Brooklyn themselves, but it could be just too hard to do unless they have a Durant deal first, one that brings in a ton of picks and that is still a tough one. But they can move on Kyrie. I think we’ve seen these possibilities developing,” the executive said to Deveney.
“I think, however it shakes out exactly, you are going to see a mega-deal. You know, earth-shattering, four maybe five teams and some big, big names. The Knicks are in a great position because they have picks coming in from Detroit and Washington, protected picks but they’re valuable. That is most likely, we’ll have to see, but most likely where Mitchell goes.”
Wizards, Hornets Also Have Interest in Mitchell
After Durant, Mitchell is probably the most highly touted player on the trade market. At just 25 years old, he has been named an All-Star three consecutive seasons and has averaged 23.9 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds over his five NBA seasons, per “The Athletic”.
Because of his immense talent, coupled with his youth, teams are scrambling for the opportunity to land Mitchell. Charania adds that the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards also are interested in the Jazz star.
“The Knicks and Jazz had a fresh trade conversation within the past week about potential packages for Mitchell, according to sources,” Charania added.
“There is no traction between the two teams on a deal, and no Mitchell trade is imminent for the Jazz, sources said. The Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards are also among the teams pursuing Mitchell, those sources said.”
Mitchell and Durant are two of the most coveted stars on the trade market. It will be interesting to see if a deal gets done before training camp opens in September.