If the Cleveland Cavaliers end up trading Donovan Mitchell this offseason, the Houston Rockets may be interested.

The Rockets own the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft next month, so that would be a great starting point in a potential trade package for Mitchell. Houston also has considerable young talent and draft capital in general, which could make the team a prime contender to land Mitchell, notes Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Trade speculation has been swirling around Mitchell after the Cavaliers were bounced from the second round of the playoffs. Mitchell has one year remaining on his deal and then has a player option for the 2025-26 campaign. He has not seemed all that eager to sign an extension in Cleveland, and the general consensus is that he will eventually decline his player option next offseason if it gets to that point.

Mitchell also does not seem to be a great fit with Darius Garland, leading to rumors that the Cavs may have to trade one of the two in order to salvage the situation long term. Mitchell would obviously have more value, but if the Cavaliers want to run it back with Mitchell again, you may see Garland end up being the odd man out.

Of course, that also depends on whether or not Cleveland feels that Mitchell will be with the club long term.

The Rockets are an interesting fit for Donovan Mitchell

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) reacts in the fourth quarter of game three of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets don't have the third overall pick in the draft because they stunk this season. They have it because they landed it from the Brooklyn Nets in the James Harden trade back in 2021, and the Nets were terrible this year.

As a matter of fact, Houston finished a very respectable 41-41 during the 2023-24 campaign and even made a brief push for a playoff spot.

If you had Mitchell into the mix, the Rockets will suddenly become very interesting.

Houston's top young pieces are Alperen Sengun, Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. It doesn't stop there, however. The Rockets also have Amen Thompson, Tari Eason and Cam Whitmore. The oldest of that group is Eason, who is 22. The youngest? Whitmore at 19.

Obviously, Houston wouldn't be able to keep all of those players in the event of a Mitchell trade. However, the Rockets' surplus of young talent makes a trade for a star player like Mitchell that much more feasible, as they wouldn't have to completely gut their roster.

Again, Houston is also loaded with future draft picks.

The question is, would Mitchell really want to go to the Rockets?

If Mitchell ends up wanting out of Cleveland, it will be because the Cavs aren't ready to win. Would he then want to go to a Houston squad that has not made the playoffs in four years? Obviously, the Rockets have a ton of potential, but Mitchell may very well have reached a point where he wants to win immediately.

As tantalizing as Houston may be for the future, it probably would not present Mitchell with the best opportunity to win a championship in 2025.

Remember: Mitchell has a player option for the 2025-26 campaign, and if the Rockets don't think Mitchell would want to stay for the long haul, they probably won't want to take the chance of trading away a bunch of assets for what could be a one-year rental.