According to multiple NBA executives who’ve spoken to the Jazz about trading for Donovan Mitchell, Utah is seeking as many draft picks as possible and isn’t prioritizing win-now players. Utah is looking to land a bigger haul for Mitchell than the Rudy Gobert trade that netted four first-round picks and 2022 first-rounder Walker Kessler from Minnesota, league sources told HoopsHype. There’s a belief it’ll take five or even six first-round draft picks to land Mitchell.
Should Mitchell be traded, rival NBA executives believe a fire sale will happen immediately in Utah, signaling the start of a long-term rebuild. Playoff-caliber teams are monitoring Bojan Bogdanovic and Patrick Beverley, with both players entering contract seasons, league sources told HoopsHype.
Mike Conley is owed $47 million over the next two seasons, which has made him a more difficult trade candidate in the immediate future.
The New York Knicks have the necessary draft pick compensation to acquire Mitchell, including a maximum of eight first-round picks over the next seven years they can include. However, New York has been reluctant to give up a treasure chest of draft picks thus far, with trade talks stalling over the past few weeks. Utah and New York have haggled over the number of picks, whether they’d be protected or not, young assets (Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes), and which salary filler player(s) will be used to get the deal done.
Despite the haggling back and forth, New York remains the presumptive favorite to land Mitchell should Utah ultimately trade him. The Knicks have been searching to land a star in the Leon Rose era, and Mitchell would fill that void while entering the prime of his career to mesh well with New York’s current nucleus.