Numerous good reasons exist for the Utah Jazz to consider trading Donovan Mitchell. They’d demonstrated on numerous instances that they weren’t capable of winning a championship, even when they had Rudy Gobert. Without him, they lacked a clear strategy for reassembling a competitive team before Mitchell’s 2025 free agency. Rarely do free agents from outside Utah desire to visit. Even if they did, the Jazz’s cap flexibility this offseason was nonexistent. The draft is their sole realistic option for moving forward. Mitchell may be traded for a ton of draft picks.
Any draft pick’s ideal outcome is to select a player like Mitchell. Detractors of a potential Mitchell trade would claim such. Why swap him for somebody who may never be as good? One rationale was provided by Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune: everyone in the NBA appears to think Mitchell is about to leave. The consensus among league insiders, according to Larsen, is that Mitchell is likely to sign with a team outside of Utah at the earliest opportunity in 2025 and that he would want to play in a larger city.
Mitchell, according to Larsen, calls New York his home. He spends the most of his offseasons there, and coincidentally, the Knicks have been the most aggressive trade candidate so far. There hasn’t been a package yet, but with eight tradeable first-round picks, a deal is undoubtedly out there.
Mitchell reportedly would be open to playing in Miami. It’s a little trickier for them to get him. They only currently have two tradable first-round picks, despite the fact that they can offer promising guard Tyler Herro in a deal. They are able to offer up to three players with some finesse and a number of first-round trades, but ultimately they are unable to compete with the Knicks’ capabilities.
It has sadly become clear that Mitchell does not intend to remain with the Jazz for the rest of his career, no matter where he ends up. Whether a trade occurs now or in the future, the Jazz appear to have accepted that they must rebuild.