After the Utah Jazz fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs, the post-mortems are ongoing.
Over the last few years, the Jazz have done well in the regular season, and they even finished with the league’s best record last year while finishing top-four in offensive and defensive rating.
By and large, they have been little more than a regular season team, as they have lacked something when it has come to winning big in the playoffs.
Is giving up on Mitchell and trading him the answer?
He has proven himself to be a big-game player in the playoffs, but some feel he isn’t that true superstar who can lead a team to the championship as its best player.
If Utah pulls the plug on “Spida,” what are some realistic destinations for him?
3. New York Knicks
The Knicks make sense for more than one reason.
First, the organization and its fans have been starving for a dynamic star like Mitchell for many years now.
New York has Julius Randle and several good complementary pieces, some of whom are young and on the rise, but Mitchell would be something else.
He could fill seats at Madison Square Garden like no one else has been able to since perhaps the days of Patrick Ewing.
If he is paired with Randle, the Knicks could suddenly become a legitimate playoff team with staying power, and perhaps they would be just a stone’s throw away from title contention.
Second, Mitchell is from Elmsford, a suburb of the city located in Westchester County.
Sending him to the Knicks would be a great “prodigal son comes home” story for the New York City area media.
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 3, 2022
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, a rising star in his own right, is about to enter free agency, and he may command a max or near-max salary.
If Cleveland isn’t willing to pay him that much money, would it be willing to surrender him and one or two other young prospects for Mitchell?
A Mitchell-Darius Garland backcourt may sound porous on the defensive end, but with a frontline that’s anchored by All-Star Jarrett Allen and soon-to-be All-Star Evan Mobley, both of whom are great rim protectors, such a backcourt could be at least passable on defense.
At the very least, it would be one of the game’s most explosive backcourt tandems on offense, with Mitchell playing more of an off-ball role while still serving as a secondary ball-handler, push guard and initiator for coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
1. Miami Heat
If the Heat don’t win the NBA championship this year, one can be sure that team president Pat Riley will be aggressive in finding that final piece.
The X-factor here could be Heat great Dwyane Wade, who is a minority owner of the Jazz and still has connections to the team he made his name with.
Bleacher Report’s trade idea:
Miami Heat receive: Donovan Mitchell
Utah Jazz receive: Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Omer Yurtseven, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick swap
"Miami has been mentioned by league sources as a smart landing spot for Mitchell." pic.twitter.com/v0XFra5Yho
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) April 30, 2022
Would Riley be willing to part with one or two of the young players he loves in order to possibly get himself one more championship ring before he retires?