Two unexpected teams join Donovan Mitchell trade conversations

Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

Most of the Donovan Mitchell trade rumors have focused on the New York Knicks. But new rumors indicate two new teams have joined the hunt.

Once the Jazz made it clear that they were open to listening to trade offers on Donovan Mitchell, the trade possibilities quickly spiraled. But the rumors quickly seemed to narrow down to the New York Knicks.

The Knicks don’t quite have the pieces to put together an offer on the same level as what the Jazz got for Rudy Gobert, which may be why we haven’t heard anything new on this topic lately. According to Tony Jones and Shams Charania of The Athletic, while the Knicks still appear to be the frontrunner, two surprising teams have entered the chat.

"The Knicks and Jazz had a fresh trade conversation within the past week about potential packages for Mitchell, according to sources. There is no traction between the two teams on a deal, and no Mitchell trade is imminent for the Jazz, sources said. The Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards are also among the teams pursuing Mitchell, those sources said."

Could the Wizards or Hornets actually trade for Donovan Mitchell?

Any package for Mitchell is likely going to need to include a talented young player or two, along with a huge war chest of future draft picks. Both teams are light on future draft assets — the Hornets own Denver’s first-round pick next season and owe their own to the Spurs; the Wizards have no extra incoming firsts and owe their 2023 first-round pick to the Knicks. That means a trade would likely clean out their own collection of future picks which would need to really make them feel that Mitchell opens their championship window.

In terms of young players, the Hornets could send something like P.J. Washington and Terry Rozier. For the Wizards, a deal would either have to send out Bradley Beal, which complicates things considerably, or be built around something like Deni Avdija, Daniel Gafford and Kyle Kuzma. Neither package looks that appealing on paper but then again, they’d be bidding against a Knicks package that supposedly won’t include R.J. Barrett and features Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin and Quentin Grimes as centerpieces.

As fun as it is to imagine Mitchell in a Hornets or Wizards uniform next season, him on the Knicks or still on the Jazz seems far more likely next season.

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