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If Donovan Mitchell were to be traded, he would prefer to be dealt to one of these three teams

The Nets and Heat have difficult paths to take in acquiring Mitchell, and so while the Knicks may technically be the frontrunner here, they are going to move fast before other teams join in on the fun
If Donovan Mitchell were to be traded, he would prefer to be dealt to one of these three teams

While Mitchell hasn’t asked out of Utah yet, that doesn’t mean he would be opposed to being traded

Now that the Kevin Durant trade rumors are officially over, the rumor mill for the 2022 NBA offseason needs somewhere else to turn. The next man up regarding trade rumors appears to be Donovan Mitchell. And with Durant off the trade market, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of the top teams in the running for Durant switch their focus to landing the Utah Jazz’s star point guard.

Mitchell has a shortlist of teams he would like to join

Mitchell’s situation with the Jazz is slightly different than Durant’s with the Brooklyn Nets. Utah initially made it their goal to build around Mitchell after receiving a massive haul for Rudy Gobert from the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, they changed course and decided to try to unload Mitchell this off-season. Despite that, Mitchell has never requested a trade out of Utah, which certainly clouds his situation a bit.

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While Mitchell hasn’t asked out of Utah yet, that doesn’t mean he would be opposed to being traded. Utah’s roster does not appear set to contend in the foreseeable future, and if Mitchell intends on winning soon, it likely won’t be with the Jazz. With that in mind, Mitchell has a shortlist of teams he would prefer to join in the event he gets traded. Here’s what Tony Jones of the Athletic had to say about the matter.

“Mitchell hasn’t asked for a trade from the Jazz, according to sources. But, if he were to be traded, sources say, his preferred destination would be one of three places: the Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets, or the Miami Heat. Mitchell can’t be traded to the Nets as long as Ben Simmons is on the roster, which makes that destination unlikely, and now even more unlikely with Kevin Durant staying put. The Heat simply don’t have the assets that the Jazz are looking for, which makes that destination unlikely. The Knicks have the assets that the Jazz seek, which has made them a natural potential trade partner. But, as of Thursday morning, the two sides aren’t close to a deal, according to sources.” - Tony Jones, The Athletic

What does Mitchell’s shortlist of destinations mean for his potential trade?

As Jones outlines above, Mitchell’s shortlist of preferred destinations doesn’t necessarily make Utah’s goal of trading Mitchell any easier. The Nets and Miami Heat are highly unlikely destinations, and while the New York Knicks make sense as a landing spot, they aren’t close to landing Mitchell at this time. Instead, the Jazz may have to trade him to one of the other 26 teams in the NBA if he gets traded.

This makes Utah’s job of trading Mitchell a bit more complicated than it already is. It isn’t really known if he wants to be traded, and even if he does, his shortlist here doesn’t give the Jazz many options to work with. The Jazz are adamant about making sure they get what they consider fair value for Mitchell, which may prevent any of these three teams from making a move for Mitchell.

Right now, the Knicks would have to be considered the favorite to land Mitchell, which has been the case all offseason long. They have the assets and the desire to land Mitchell that no other team has shown this offseason. But if New York doesn’t step up to the plate soon, they could risk losing Mitchell as more teams begin to circle the talented guard.

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