Door Could Open for Sixers to Trade for $163 Million All-Star

Philadelphia 76ers Donovan Mitchell

Getty Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles past Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz.

While most Philadelphia 76ers fans have their sights set on Kevin Durant, there could be another potential mega-deal on the table this offseason. Following the Utah Jazz’s trade of Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Donovan Mitchell could be the next big name the Jazz put on the trade market.

However, NBA insider Brian Windhorst said on July 11 that the Jazz aren’t currently Mitchell but could make him available at some point during the summer. Last season, Mitchell, 25, averaged 25.9 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game and 5.3 assists per game.

“While they still want to build around Donovan Mitchell, he is not untouchable,” Windhorst said during an appearance on “NBA on ESPN.” That is what league executives believe, he is not currently on the market, and at some point they believe he will be.”

Like Durant, Mitchell is in the middle of a long-term contract. The three-time All-Star is signed through the 2024-25 season and has a $37 million player option for 2026. 

If Utah does decide to make Mitchell available via trade, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey will likely do his due diligence. Along with the executive’s cryptic July 7 tweet about more being on the way for the Sixers, the star guard was recently spotted with Philadelphia stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey in the Hamptons.


How the Sixers Can Pull Off a Trade for Donovan Mitchell

Since he is in his prime and signed long-term, acquiring Mitchell will not be an easy task. Seeing how Utah just received a haul of players and draft assets for Rudy Gobert, they will likely expect a similar return for their franchise cornerstone.

To make things work financially, Tobias Harris would have to be a part of the return package for Mitchell. On top of that, young players like Matisse Thybulle and Maxey would have to be in the mix, along with draft compensation in the form of picks or swaps.

One potential framework could be a situation in which the Sixers send Harris, Maxey, Thybulle and draft compensation to the Jazz in exchange for Mitchell and veteran forward Rudy Gay. The 35-year-old appeared in 55 games for Utah last season and averaged 8.1 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 34.5% from beyond the arc. 

The biggest roadblock for the Sixers would be parting ways with Maxey. After how he burst on the scene this past season, there is no telling the kind of player he will be in a few years. In his first year playing full time, the former first-round pick averaged 17.5 PPG and shot an efficient 42.7% from 3.


Mitchell Takes Shot at Ben Simmons

Along with his recent interaction with some current players, Mitchell has a storied history with one former Sixer. During the 2017-18 season, he and Ben Simmons battled it out for the Rookie of the Year award.

In an attempt to sway things in his favor, the Jazz guard constantly brought up that Simmons missed his entire first season due to injury, indicating he technically wasn’t a rookie. Despite Mitchell’s efforts, the Sixers point guard still took home the award.

Simmons recently popped up at the NBA Summer League and was courtside for the Nets’ matchup against the Sixers. He was accompanied by Mitchell’s former teammate Royce O’Neale, who recently got traded to Brooklyn. Given their history, Mitchell jokingly posted a photo on his Instagram story voicing his displeasure with O’Neale hanging out with his former rival. 

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Just a statistic
Just a statistic
2 months ago

If Maxey is required then shut it down. Love Mitchell, but Maxey is already giving you similar production. Now if it’s Tobias, Thybulle, Milton or some other combo and picks I’m ok with that. Or we can trade Harden straight across- lmao.

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