With no basketball going on right now, might as well make the aggregation community proud and start talking about trade rumors, right? In today’s league, a new unsuspected superstar hits the trade block every year, but I would have never guessed there was even a chance that Gobert and Mitchell could get shopped.
In all likelihood, Utah will downplay that they are shopping either while they are secretly (not so secretly) taking calls on them. I highly doubt they’d end up moving Mitchell, so the idea would probably be to create a bidding war for Gobert.
For the sake of fun though, let’s look at what some potential Mitchell trades could look like.
This deal brings the Jazz some decent value, but they’d probably be selling a little low on Mitchell. They replace Mitchell with Nunn who is kind of like a poor man’s version of him, they add a great depth piece who is still super early on in his rookie-scale deal in Herro, and they also get a first round pick for their troubles. There is low risk to this deal because it is pretty clear Nunn and Herro are players, however there is not much upside in the deal for Utah because they both probably top out as a starter level scoring guards. I can see both being high-end starters but would not consider it likely. The first-round pick is not great either, it would likely end up falling in the mid-20s.
This deal likely hinges on how much the Jazz believe in Barrett and if the Knicks are willing to include their 2020 first round pick. As someone who is not that high on Barrett, I will admit that Utah is probably the best possible system for him. He would have an elite lob threat in Gobert and some of the best spot up shooters in the league around him; the Jazz’s system would absolutely bring out the best of Barrett. Coach Quin Snyder would also be great for him, because his elite coaching could play an influential role in Barrett reaching his ceiling.
Like mentioned, the Knicks will probably push to not include this year’s first because it could end up being significantly more valuable than next year’s if they were to land Mitchell. The counter to that though is the comparison of draft strength; 2020 is reported to be a much weaker draft than 2021.
One other discussion point would be which of the Knicks young guys the Jazz want to take a flier on in addition to Barrett. I included Trier because I don’t think he’s a part of the Knicks future and he’s shown he can score. If the Jazz lost Mitchell, I would want to take the flier on the most proven scorer to replace Mitchell’s output.
During the season many people wanted to see the Thunder and Jazz swap point guards. Paul was significantly better and the Jazz were trying to win now, and Conley is cheaper and on a shorter contract for what would be the rebuilding Thunder. The Thunder were too good though to make that move without gaining an asset in return for Paul.
Well, now they’re gaining Donovan Mitchell. The Thunder have such a war chest of draft picks that there is no reason for them not to attempt to throw multiple picks to pair Mitchell with SGA.
The Jazz would still be looking to stay competitive, so they would 100% want to swap point guards in addition to receiving the draft capital and young players. This deal allows them to do that. Ferguson would be a great fit in Utah too, as he likely slides into the starting two-guard spot (his natural position) and perfectly fills the low usage 3-and-D role. He was always overmatched trying to guard 3s in OKC, where in Utah, he would be one of their better guard defenders. Paul and Ferguson allow the Jazz to become an elite defensive team again while staying relatively close to their past offense levels. The Jazz also get to replenish their draft capital.
I’m closing with my favorite trade of them all. Mitchell would be the perfect addition to the Pelicans core of Zion, Ingram, and Ball. He provides the dynamic guard they need to maximize the group, off-ball shooting to clear the lane for Zion and BI, and obviously fits the Pelicans future timeline (while still helping them be good now). It also just so happens that the Pelicans have a ton of young assets and a really good player who fits the Jazz’s timeline better than their’s in Jrue Holiday.
This deal is like the Thunder deal in that it starts with the swapping of veteran guards. The only difference in that aspect is that the Jazz get the younger, better, and cheaper of the two. The Jazz also get Josh Hart who will step into the low usage 3-and-D starting two spot perfectly, and Jaxson Hayes, who provides much needed youth, and fills a hole at backup center. Having Hayes also allows the Jazz’s second unit to play the same way as their starting unit, whereas now Tony Bradley causes the style to change on the second unit because of how different his game is to Gobert’s.
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