While Nets superstar Kevin Durant nearly broke the Internet after asking for a trade out of Brooklyn on Thursday, June 30, and the Miami Heat being named as one of the 11-time All-Star’s “wish list” destinations caused quite a stir, dealings for another longtime sought-after trade target fell under the radar.
Five Reasons Sports Network’s Greg Sylvander first announced, “Miami has submitted an offer to Donovon Mitchell,” a report confirmed by The New York Daily News reporter Kristian Winfield amid the flurry of news concerning Durant and the Heat.
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“The Heat are a more likely landing spot for Donovan Mitchell and have furnished a trade offer to the Utah Jazz,” Winfield wrote. “In an April 2022 episode of the Certified Buckets podcast, New York City hip-hop legend Fat Joe told me he is close to Mitchell and that Mitchell’s dream is playing for Miami, not his hometown Knicks.”
Because Mitchell has been linked to the Heat for over a year, it was strange that the Heat making an official offer to the three-time All-Star wasn’t getting the proper media attention. However, Sylvander later revealed a key detail concerning Miami’s offer to land the 25-year-old guard.
“My Mitchell trade offer update on our live stream was not intended to imply it happened today. and I should have clarified that,” Sylvander tweeted. “Miami is laser focused on Durant.”
ESPN Analyst Reported The Heat Have Been Preparing for Durant’s Trade ‘For Days’
It’s not clear when the Heat first submitted their trade offer for Mitchell, but ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst also confirmed that Miami’s No. 1 goal would be to land Durant. “The Miami Heat have been preparing for this for several days,” Windhorst said on Thursday.
While it’s unclear if the Heat have enough assets to successfully trade for Durant, it’s a possible get since the 33-year-old power forward officially asked for a trade. As for Mitchell, it’s unknown if the Jazz is willing to trade him away.
Earlier in the day, Utah traded Royce O’Neal to the Nets in exchange for a first-round pick, as first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, a move which made little sense after Durant announced he wanted out.
Winfield tweeted, “I don’t know how the Royce O’Neale trade went down, but this is possible. [Nets general manager Sean] Marks could have made the deal for O’Neale thinking he was building around a Big 3. Then the apocalypse came.”
As for Mitchell, according to Bleacher Report‘s Doric Sam, he’s “reportedly been frustrated in Utah for quite some time. He raised eyebrows Monday by posting the image of a song titled Let Me Go’ on his Instagram story. This month when former Utah head coach Quin Snyder resigned, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mitchell was “unsettled, unnerved and wondering what it means for the franchise’s future.”
On Tuesday, June 28, the Jazz hired Will Hardy as their new head coach, per ESPN. Hardy, 34, spent last season working as an assistant under Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. Mitchell has not yet publicly commented Hardy’s hire.
Mitchell Has Been Spending Quality Time During the Offseason With Jimmy Butler
Earlier this month, trade rumors regarding Mitchell refueled after NBA Skills coach Chris Brickley shared photos of Heat star Jimmy Butler and Mitchell sitting next to each other at his birthday party on Instagram, pictures which quickly went viral on social media.
Brickley, an NBA skills coach, trains with both Mitchell and Butler, so it’s easy to understand why both ballers were at his party. While Carmelo Anthony was also in attendance, seeing Butler and Mitchell 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.”
If things don’t pan out with Durant, maybe the Heat can still pull off a trade to bring Mitchell, who averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game last season, to Miami.