The Miami Heat continue to be linked to pretty much every big player potentially available on the trade market with NBA free agency having opened up.
Earlier on Thursday, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant requested a trade. Almost immediately, Miami was mentioned as one of the teams he’d like to join.
With Miami having already made multiple moves to retain its own players, Victor Oladipo included, it is being linked to a huge name on the trade market.
According to Kristian Winfield of the NY Daily News, Miami has already made a specific trade offer to the Utah Jazz for star guard Donovan Mitchell.
The fact that front office head Pat Riley is going big-game hunting can’t be seen as a surprise. Miami is coming off a hard-fought seven-game series loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. It wants to upgrade behind stud wing Jimmy Butler. Obviously, adding Mitchell would do just that.
- Donovan Mitchell stats (2019-22): 25.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, 45% shooting, 37% 3-point
Whether this is even a possibility remains to be seen. While Utah is transitioning to a new head coach with Danny Ainge calling the shots in the front office, it has not given any indication that Mitchell is available in trade talks. That could change depending on how the summer plays out.
Related: Miami Heat offseason preview
Miami Heat assets to pull off a Donovan Mitchell trade
If Miami thinks it has the combination of young players to acquire Durant from Brooklyn, there’s no reason to believe things would change on the Mitchell front. Despite the latter being much younger than his counterpart, KD will likely fetch an historical return in a trade.
Any deal to bring Mitchell to South Beach would likely have to include star center Bam Adebayo heading to Salt Lake City. From there, the Heat would have to offer up multiple first-round picks and/or a young player.
Depending on whether Utah wants to go into a full-scale rebuild under new head coach Will Hardy, a draft-centric package heading to the Jazz could make sense. In this scenario, the Miami Heat yield first-round picks in 2023, 2027 and 2029 as well as the contract of Kyle Lowry to make it work. From there, Tyler Herro would likely have to be involved.
Whatever the details, it’s becoming clear that Miami is looking to add a big fish to the mix this summer. Perhaps, it will be one Donovan Mitchell in what would be a franchise-altering trade.