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Donovan Mitchell drama: Utah Jazz concerned star guard might want out

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NBA rumors continue to persist surrounding big names such as Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard. Could Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz be next in line?

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, new Jazz co-owner Dwyane Wade is concerned that Mitchell might want out of dodge at some point in the not-so-distant future.

“I do think that Dwyane Wade, who (governor Ryan Smith) brought in to be a co-owner but also be an advisor, is seriously concerned about Donovan Mitchell’s desire to stay there long-term,” Windhorst reported.

Mitchell, 24, is coming off an absolutely brilliant 2020-21 regular season. He averaged 26.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists on 39% shooting from distance. The All-Star entered the NBA as a project back in 2017 when Utah made him a top-13 pick that year. Since then, he’s morphed into one of the better guards in the entire Association.

With that said, there was some drama between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season being suspended due to COVID-19. Gobert tested positive for the virus, seemingly spreading it to Mitchell in the process. At that point, there was concern that the two couldn’t coexist with one another.

While things have been resolved between the two since, there’s renewed concerns that the paring is not indicative of a true NBA championship contender. Utah finished the regular season with a league-best 52-20 record, only to lose to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Donovan Mitchell contract status

donovan mitchell contract
Jun 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) sits on the scorers table during the closing minute of the LA Clippers win in game six in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

This is a major backdrop when discussing the potential of Mitchell requesting a trade from the Jazz. He inked a five-year, $163 million extension back in November of 2020. Said deal does not kick in until the 2021-22 season and includes a player option for the 2025-26 campaign.

Mitchell will surely decline said option as long as he continues to play at the level we’ve seen recently. In any event, here’s how the deal breaks down.

  • 2021-22: $28.1 million
  • 2022-23: $30.35 million
  • 2023-24: $32.6 million
  • 2024-25: $34.85 million
  • 2025-26: $37.1 million (player option)

Timeline for potential Donovan Mitchell trade demand

donovan mitchell trade rumors
Jun 16, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) leaves the court in the final seconds of game five of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the LA Clippers at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Reasonably, the Jazz have to feel confident that Mitchell will at least tough it out in Salt Lake through the 2022-23 campaign. His contract will be about half over at that point depending on the option for 2025-26.

This seems to indicate that there’s no imminent trade demand on the horizon. With that said, how the Jazz perform over the next season or two will be telling here.

Remember, Rudy Gobert inked a five-year, $205 million extension back in December. Said deal also calls for a player option in 2025-26. Renewed questions about this duo’s ability to contend for a championship in Utah could lead to a divorce sooner rather than later.

The aforementioned report about Donovan Mitchell only adds another layer to this. And while it likely won’t be on the front burner of NBA rumors this summer like we’re going to see with Simmons and Lillard, this is certainly something to pay close attention to moving forward.

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