Despite their best efforts, the Miami Heat‘s roster continues to look eerily similar to the one that stalled out during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in May. The team is still being mentioned as a player in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, but it’s difficult to see a pathway for team president Pat Riley to actually make something happen.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, on the other hand, may just be marginally more obtainable for the South Beach crew. And it’s not hard to see him transforming the Heat’s offense if he could somehow find his way out of Salt Lake City.
He isn’t KD, but Mitchell remains one of the NBA‘s best individual talents and a multi-level scorer. In what some considered a down year for the baller, he still averaged 25.9 points, 5.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest while making 232 three-point buckets.
Alas, Riley may not have enough assets at his disposal to acquire Mitchell, either.
On Monday, The Athletic‘s Fred Katz compiled what he thought would be Riley’s best possible offer for the 25-year-old star. It’s a significant package, too, but perhaps not one that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge would go ape over.
Miami’s Best Offer for Mitchell
In analyzing the “all-in” offers that the six teams most mentioned as Mitchell suitors (not including the Knicks) can make for the three-time All-Star, Katz landed on the following for the Heat:
- Miami Heat receive G Donovan Mitchell
- Utah Jazz receive G Tyler Herro, G/F Duncan Robinson, F Nikola Jovic, two unprotected first-round picks (in 2023 and 2028) and two first-round picks swaps (2027, 2029)
Considering Robinson’s newfound status as a bad contract, Herro’s playoff shrinkage and the middling nature of the draft assets attached to the trade, one has to wonder whether this package could realistically get Mitchell to South Beach. He’s probably worth more than that to Utah, especially after the club netted a historic haul for Rudy Gobert.
As Katz points out, though, there aren’t many other pieces that make sense.
“Yes, the point of this exercise is to present the greatest all-in package a team can put out there, but we have to be somewhat realistic,” wrote Katz. “Miami is not including Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo, and I don’t see the Jazz wanting Kyle Lowry’s $58 million remaining over the next couple of seasons.”
For all these reasons, it’s difficult to see the Heat being able to get Mitchell (or Durant, for that matter) barring a major change.
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Knicks Still Hold the Cards
Katz explored these trade possibilities to illustrate the point that New York is still in the best position to get Mitchell, even as trade talks between that franchise and Utah have hit a wall.
Although the Heat and other teams can put together impressive packages — ones that include multiple future picks as well as prospects — in their attempts to acquire the young star, no one has a stockpile of both like the Knicks do. For that very reason, Katz is insistent that Knicks prez Leon Rose should stand his ground in dealing with Ainge.
“There’s a world where (depending on which players and protected picks are in the offer) a Knicks package with only two unprotected first-rounders is the best one on the table,” wrote Katz. “So, we have a standstill. The Jazz want an A-plus return, and the Knicks could give one, but why do it if no one else is offering better than a B?”