Long before the Miami Heat lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Celtics, a heartbreaking 100-96 defeat that promptly ended their journey to the NBA Finals, numerous reports linked the franchise to Utah Jazz’s star guard Donovan Mitchell.
After the Heat were eliminated from the playoffs, followed by the announcement on Sunday, June 5 that Quin Snyder was stepping down as head coach for the Jazz, reports linking Miami to the three-time All-Star hit a new fever pitch.
The latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
SB Nation’s official Twitter account, which has 308,500 followers, changed its bio on Sunday, June 5, to read: “Donovan Mitchell is going to the Heat, isn’t he.”
A few days earlier, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote on May 31 that the Heat were in the running to land Mitchell with “a potential package… that would theoretically center around Tyler Herro plus other salary and multiple first-round picks.”
However, according to a new report from The Athletic’s Tony Jones, if the Heat did make a call to Utah about the former No. 13 overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft, it’s been denied.
Jones wrote on Sunday, June 5, “League sources say multiple teams have called the Jazz to inquire about the trade availability of Mitchell, only to be given a firm no. The Jazz have made it clear they intend on building a roster around Mitchell. The only thing that could possibly pry Mitchell from the Jazz at this point is a monstrous offer. They simply don’t have the intention of trading him.”
If the Jazz want to keep Mitchell in Utah, it sounds like they’ll need to consult with the 25-year-old guard on who they hire next. Sources told ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski that following Snyder’s exit, Mitchell was “unsettled, unnerved and wondering what it means for the franchise’s future:”
Mitchell considered Snyder a significant part of his reasoning for committing to a five-year maximum contract extension in 2020, and Snyder’s decision to step away on Sunday has left Mitchell ‘surprised and disappointed,’ sources told ESPN.
Mitchell remains fond of Snyder and accepts his reasons for stepping down, but Mitchell is spending the immediate aftermath of Snyder’s decision trying to process what the coach’s loss means in the larger scope for the organization and himself, sources said.
Heat Have a Better Chance at Landing Jazz Center Rudy Gobert
If the Heat wanted to nab a different Jazz star, center Rudy Gobert, Jones insinuated that the 7-foot-1, three-time Defensive Play of the Year, is more likely to be on the move.
Aside from Mitchell, “nearly everyone else,” is available, Jones wrote, “including star center Rudy Gobert, has some sort of availability on the trade market. League sources suggest Gobert and small forward Bojan Bogdanovic have been two names that have garnered significant interest from teams. The Jazz expect to be a team that will be aggressive on the trade market.”
The Heat have been criticized for having a surplus of guards on the roster, making the reach for Mitchell frustrating for many. However, thus far there haven’t been any reports of interest between the Heat and Gobert, who turns 30 later this month.
Heat’s Head Coach Said He Wants to Keep the Core Roster Intact for Next Season
While such restructuring decisions include the input of Heat president Pat Riley, the front office, and owner Micky Arison, if it was up to Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra, there wouldn’t be any major changes from the team’s core group of players.
“Look at the history of how we’ve done things since Pat and Micky have created this culture,” Spoelstra said during his final press conference of the season. “Anytime we’re close and have banged on the door, even if it ended in a disappointing loss, our history has shown that we usually bring the majority of the group back, the core back, and we take another shot at it.”