The Utah Jazz dropped their fifth consecutive game last night, losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on TNT. With the Jazz down four with 10 seconds remaining, Donovan Mitchell called a timeout that the team did not have. Technical foul. Free throws. Another Jazz loss.
After the game Mitchell sounded frustrated calling recent results "the same shit" as last year. The Jazz finished with seven wins in their last nine games to get to 52 wins last season so he must be referring to losing to the Clippers in the playoffs. Or maybe it's just the impending sense of doom that comes with multiple years of springtime disappointments.
This is the kind of comment that has people wondering whether Mitchell, after five years in Utah, is ready to move on. Considering he's just one year into a five-year, $195 million extension, it's the perfect time for a player to demand a trade in the modern NBA. There would be no shortage of takers. Here are a few...
New York Knicks
The Knicks' quest for a real life superstar has pretty much been going on since Patrick Ewing left. Brief excitement surrounding Carmelo Anthony and Julius Randle not withstanding. If Mitchell becomes available, New York should move heaven and earth to land him. In fact, would the Jazz be interested in Randle?
Los Angeles Lakers
The pipe dream for LeBron James, Rob Pelinka and friends would be to flip Russell Westbrook for Mitchell, but even if the Westbrook did opt in to the final year of his deal so he could be traded to Utah... and even if the Jazz were willing to let Mitchell go with three seasons (plus a player option) on his contract to pay Westbrook more than 50% more than Mitchell... and this is just not realistic. It is fun to think about LeBron James and Anthony Davis playing with Donovan Mitchell. Unless you're really enjoying this season of Lakers basketball.
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard also needs a change of scenery. Damian Lillard also makes a large salary and has a couple years remaining on his deal. Mitchell gets away from Rudy Gobert and Damian Lillard gets to play on a playoff team. This one seems like it would work out for everyone. The only problem is trading these guys in their division.
Mitchell would get out of the conference and the Heat have the ability to put together any number of combinations of players to and salaries. And they might even have an unhappy star on their roster making $37 million next year.