Maybe Donovan Mitchell just wanted to see some competitive playoff basketball. Or perhaps his flight got delayed in Philadelphia. No one was quite certain why the Utah Jazz star was sitting courtside at Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
But Mitchell was there and Twitter raged with all kinds of bizarre speculation. The three-time All-Star has been the subject of trade rumors ever since Utah was bounced from the playoffs. Reports of friction between Mitchell and Rudy Gobert continue to filter out of Utah, with the talented guard doing little to quiet the chatter.
“I just want to win. This hurts, and like I said, I’ll think about it in a week,” Mitchell said after the Jazz were eliminated. “Right now I’m not really thinking about any of that, to be completely honest with you.”
If Mitchell were looking to change zip codes, the Philadelphia 76ers would seem to be an ideal fit. And the team the Sixers were hosting on Friday night would be another one. Especially with Miami Heat president Pat Riley in the building. Was Mitchell in town to scout out potential trade destinations? Well, let’s save that crazy talk for the offseason. No one appeared to be tampering on May 6.
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Connecting the Dots: Mitchell to New York?
The Sixers would have to get creative to land Mitchell in a trade. For starters, they might not have a first-rounder to offer in 2022 depending on what the Brooklyn Nets decide to do with the 23rd overall pick. Philadelphia would also have to clear cap space – translation: convince Utah to take Tobias Harris – in order to afford Mitchell’s $32.6 million average annual salary. It wouldn’t be an easy deal to pull off.
But stranger things have happened and the Sixers could push all their chips in to land a third max player, a scenario that was recently spelled out on The Athletic’s NBA Show podcast. Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine are two other names to monitor there. Meanwhile, Mitchell seems more destined for the New York Knicks.
Remember, Mitchell’s former agent is Leon Rose who serves as Knicks team president. Plus, Mitchell is a New York native and his dad holds the title of Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the New York Mets. In fact, the reason why he was probably in Philly for Game 3 was because the Mets and Phillies had been scheduled to play on Friday night. That game was cancelled due to a rain delay.
Seth Curry Also Attends Sixers-Heat Game
Mitchell wasn’t the only non-Sixers player in attendance at Game 3. Seth Curry was also spotted in the front row wearing an Oakland Athletics hat. That one is a little easier to explain considering the younger Curry brother is married to Doc Rivers’ daughter.
Curry was simply in town to support his father-in-law and his former teammates. Remember, he was part of the blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia from Brooklyn. Curry was sent packing to the Nets along with Andre Drummond and future draft picks.