Amid the Utah Jazz’s struggles this 2021-22 season, the trade rumors surrounding Donovan Mitchell continue to intensify.
Now, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN in his latest appearance on the Lowe Podcast, a number of teams have been preparing themselves to pounce on the superstar guard if he’s made available by the Jazz.
“Other teams have been planning to make a run at Donovan Mitchell all season long,” MacMahon shared, via Bleacher Report.
Mitchell has seen his name thrown in numerous trade rumors this 2021-22 season. This comes as talks about the Jazz’s ceiling with Mitchell and Rudy Gobert became a major concern. They have been to multiple playoff runs, but their inability to win and even go deep has raised fears that the partnership has run its course and the team is simply not a championship-caliber squad.
Last February, the explosive Jazz guard has been linked with the New York Knicks. William Wesley, New York’s executive vice president and senior basketball adviser, is said to be trying to sell his plan to the team that “eventually will land Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.”
Meanwhile, NBA insider Howard Beck previously shared his belief that the Jazz are in “trouble” as Mitchell could really wish for an exit from Utah
“I think they’re in trouble because this this thing has run its course and we know there are some tensions that are in that locker room. And I’ve been told recently that they might be a little worse than we’ve even been led to believe. And so if this doesn’t end well, this postseason and there’s no reason to think that it will. … Those Donovan Mitchell ‘wants out’ rumors are going to be starting like as soon as the season is over,” Beck said on his The Crossover NBA Show podcast.
For what it’s worth, amid those rumors in February, Mitchell doubled down on his desire to stay with the Jazz. He highlighted that he loves the team and they all want the same thing: “find a way to win as a group.”
However, he did made those comments before the Jazz suffered a slump in recent weeks. The team has gone 4-6 in their last 10 games, which saw them drop from third seed to fifth place in the Western Conference standings. The said performance has only sounded the alarm once again about their ability to win a championship.
It is not only Mitchell who has been in trade rumors. Apparently, the Dallas Mavericks could have “significant interest” in the Frenchman should the Jazz decide to blow their roster up.
It remains to be seen what will happen to Mitchell since he is clearly the team’s cornerstone. Should Utah trade him, they are expected to ask for something significant in return–something that will help them speed up their rebuild. Nonetheless, it is also entirely possible for the team to part ways with Gobert instead and look to acquire a better complementary talent for Mitchell.
A lot of things can happen, especially if they suffer another playoff disappointment. If Mitchell, Gobert and the rest of the franchise can prove they can win with a Finals run this 2021-22 playoffs, though, these trade speculations will definitely go away. Winning solves a lot of things, after all.
With that said, the Utah franchise needs to focus on the task at hand before making a decision on their future.