The Miami Heat is not being shy in their aggressive pursuit to land a big star this summer and the franchise is working overtime to make a trade for either Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell or Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant.
Initially, obtaining Mitchell seemed like a pipe dream. It wasn’t clear if the Jazz would be willing to part with the three-time All-Star, and unlike Durant, Mitchell hadn’t asked for a trade. But all that changed on July 12 when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, “After previously shutting down inquiries on moving All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, rival teams say the Utah Jazz are showing a willingness to listen on possible trade scenarios.”
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With momentum swinging for Mitchell to finally land in Miami after years of rumored reports linking him to the Heat, the Jazz star’s birthday message to All-Star center Bam Adebayo stood out on Monday, July 18. Posting a photo on his Instagram stories of the two walking off the court at the FTX Arena, Mitchell wrote, “bum a** birthday 😂😂😂 enjoy it Brotha ‼️ ‼️ @bam1of1.”
The Heat’s newly-turned 25-year-old center reposted Mitchell’s message on his Instagram stories, and wrote, “Thanks…” with the middle finger emoji, as Mitchell is the same age.
Earlier this month, Mitchell shared a video on Instagram of the duo working out together in Louisville. While Adebayo played college ball at Kentucky, Mitchell attended the school’s biggest rival, Louisville, before entering the 2017 NBA Draft. The Jazz selected Mitchell with the No. 13 overall pick, while the Heat drafted Adebayo with the No. 14 overall pick.
Adebayo commented on the video, “Great Pass By Me 🤷🏾♂️.” However, Adebayo isn’t the only Heat star Mitchell has been hanging out with this summer. In late June, NBA Skills coach Chris Brickley shared photos of Jimmy Butler and Mitchell sitting next to each other at his birthday party on Instagram, pictures which quickly went viral on social media.
Brickley trains Mitchell and Butler, so it’s easy to understand why both ballers were at his party, but seeing the two all chummy definitely raised some eyebrows on social media.
A Heat fan tweeted, “Help is on the way,” while a Celtics fan got worried and wrote, “Thats not good. Smh. The East would belong to them. Boston better win this year. They will never get another chance.”
The Heat Are Urged to Trade for Mitchell Instead of Durant
While the Heat remains focused on Durant as their top target, as Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reitereated on Tuesday, ESPN’s NBA Insider Kevin Pelton recently urged Miami to dedicate all their time and energy on landing Mitchell instead.
“Durant turns 34 in September, which puts him in the same range as Miami starters Jimmy Butler (33 in September) and Kyle Lowry (36),” Pelton wrote. “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 [Jimmy] Butler is in his late prime.”
Despite his age, Durant remains one of the best players in the NBA. Last season, the 6-foot-10 forward averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, while shooting 51.8% from the field and 38.3% from beyond the arc.
As for Mitchell, the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game last season.
ESPN’s Proposed Trade for the Heat to Land Mitchell
On Thursday, July 14, ESPN’s NBA Insider Kevin Pelton offered a three-team trade proposal involving the Oklahoma City Thunder that would successfully land Mitchell in Miami:
2023, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks
Oklahoma City receives:
2025 first-round pick via Miami (protections removed)
2024 second-round pick (top-50 protected)
2028 and 2029 second-round picks
While the former No. 13 overall pick from. the 2013 NBA Draft is perceived to have an interest in joining the Knicks since he’s a native of Elmsford, New York, “Mitchell’s dream is playing for Miami, not his hometown Knicks,” The New York Daily News reporter Kristian Winfield wrote earlier this month.