If Donovan Mitchell wants to be with a different team, he apparently is not kicking up a fuss with Utah Jazz management.
On Wednesday, a report came out of discussions involving the three-All-Star “headed toward a stalemate” partly because Mitchell is “not pushing” to be dealt.
Following their trade of Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Jazz appear to be en route to a rebuild.
Mitchell’s future with the organization has become uncertain as a result. He is only 25 years old and signed for three more seasons plus has a player option for 2025-26, but there has been speculation for a long time that he doesn’t want to stay with the club long-term.
In February, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes asked Mitchell about his future with the Jazz amid speculation that he might soon want out. He said:
“I think I’ve reached a point where you’re happy with yourself, first off. … But as far as myself with the franchise, I see the articles, but I really address it with my teammates. I’ve seen it. I’m not too stressed about it. I’m not thinking about it. Because for me, it’s about how we can win.”
The New York Knicks have frequently been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Mitchell. B/R’s Jake Fischer reported Tuesday that the Knicks “have projected confidence” that they can acquire Mitchell without including RJ Barrett in the deal.
Per NBA insider Marc Stein on Monday’s Stein Line Live (via HoopsHype), Jazz CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge has pushed for seven of New York’s future first round picks in a Mitchell trade.
“The Knicks are trying to do this only surrendering four or five firsts,” according to Stein.
Unless the Knicks are willing to increase their offer, or Ainge lowers the asking price, a Mitchell deal could take time to work out. There is no indication the Jazz would not be willing to go into the 2022-23 season with their star guard still on the roster.
Ainge already hit one home run when he got the T-Wolves to include four first-round picks and a pick swap in the Gobert deal. He has a history of waiting for the deal he wants without giving in for anything less.
The only thing that might change Utah’s position is if Mitchell forces a trade.
The Jazz have been one of the best regular-season teams in the NBA throughout Mitchell’s career. They have made the playoffs in each of his first five seasons, including as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in 2020-21, but have not advanced past the second round during that span.
Mitchell has been named to the All-Star team in each of the past three seasons. He averaged 25.9 points and a career-high 5.3 assists per game in 67 games in 2021-22.