Since then, fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell has been rumored to be on the trading block.
The team most linked to him has been the New York Knicks, and although they made a solid offer to Utah, it reportedly said no.
“New York made a recent offer of Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, additional salary and two unprotected first-round draft picks (five total), league sources tell me and The Athletic’s Tony Jones,” Shams Charania of The Athletic wrote. “The Jazz’s asking price has been more significant than that.”
Mitchell may not be a true superstar, but should the Jazz even look to trade him right now?
Mitchell Is A Building Block
There has been lots of debate about Mitchell’s true value to a team.
At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, he is an undersized guard, which makes him vulnerable on the defensive end, and although he averaged a career-high 5.3 assists per game last season, he isn’t a true floor general or natural point guard.
Still, he has made three consecutive All-Star teams, and he is certainly a pretty prolific player.
Mitchell has averaged 23.9 points a game over his five-year career, and his ability to evade multiple defenders makes him a dangerous offensive weapon.
“Donovan Mitchell ain’t done anything in the playoffs since the bubble.”
2022 G3 vs Dallas. Averaged 26/4/6 overall. He’s exactly what Miami needs. pic.twitter.com/a5nUh4ZtcL
— James Alexander👨🏾💻 (@ScriptsByJames) July 4, 2022
He also has a history of going nuclear come playoff time, as his 28.3 points per game average in the postseason would suggest, and he hasn’t only gone off in the Walt Disney World Resort bubble in 2020.
Clippers are up 1-0 without this stretch from Donovan Mitchell. Incredible 3rd Qtr pic.twitter.com/yDj6i7JPdL
— 5k (@iLoveShawn5000) June 9, 2021
Mitchell is one of a handful of NBA stars who can almost single-handedly win his team a playoff game, and that’s an attribute that is both rare and invaluable.
Plus, he is just 25 years of age, so he is someone the Jazz could count on for many years to come.
With Lots Of Draft Capital, The Jazz Could Build Around Him
Although the Timberwolves will likely make the playoffs for the foreseeable future, the Jazz can start to rebuild around Mitchell with the boatload of draft picks they have gotten from them.
Those first-round picks will come into play in 2023, 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2029.
Even if the Jazz don’t value those picks a whole lot, they could reroute some of them in a potential trade for another star later on.
In addition, Beasley is a solid young player who can put points on the board when his head is on straight.
Although he averaged just 12.1 points per game last year, he put up 19.6 points a contest in the 2020-21 season while shooting 39.9 percent from beyond the arc.
The Possible Exception
Despite all of Mitchell’s impressive skills, there was a report last month that Jazz executive Danny Ainge doesn’t have a ton of belief in Mitchell as a franchise cornerstone.
“The whispers around the league are that Danny Ainge is not convinced that Donovan Mitchell can be the face of a contending franchise,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said during a recent podcast appearance.
Perhaps Mitchell cannot be “the man” on a contending team, but if not, he could be an excellent second banana.
One problem with trying to trade him is that if Ainge asks for the equivalent of the Salt Lake Temple in return for Mitchell, it could price out any potential suitors, even one as desperate as the Knicks.
Ainge would likely be better suited to keep Mitchell and work on another move to pair with him with a superstar, either now or in the near future.