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Donovan Mitchell Rumors: Nets Interested in Jazz Star amid Trade Buzz

Erin WalshJuly 13, 2022

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

After the Utah Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves this summer, Donovan Mitchell trade rumors began to heat up again, and it appears yet another team might be interested in adding the veteran guard.

The Brooklyn Nets have interest in acquiring Mitchell, according to SNY's Ian Begley. However, the franchise would need to move Ben Simmons in order to act because teams aren't allowed to acquire two players who have signed rookie max extensions.

While the Nets are interested in Mitchell, they still need to sort out their situation with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Durant requested a trade from the Nets on June 30, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, and his preferred destinations include the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns. However, teams have been reluctant to meet Brooklyn's hefty asking price for the superstar.

"We have a pretty gigantic gulf between what the Net' value of Kevin Durant is and what the market is willing to pay," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on Get Up last week via Real GM. "Again, this requires some nuance and I know that this potentially will be taken out of that context."

"Kevin Durant is obviously a very valuable player," Windhorst added. "Nobody doubts that this guy is still in his prime years as an MVP-level candidate, who can completely swing a team from pretender to contender with his presence. However, the market does not want to pay a super premium price for him because if you trade away all of these top assets on your team to get him, he becomes less valuable to you. And that gulf is why we're in a stalemate right now and could have one for a while."

As for Irving, he reportedly never requested a trade but did give the Nets a list of potential destinations. The latest on the veteran point guard is that he wants to remain in Brooklyn with or without Durant, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

As for the possibility of Brooklyn acquiring Mitchell, it's unclear if the franchise would be willing to part ways with Simmons in order to make it happen.

The Nets just acquired Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers in the James Harden deal this past season, and he has yet to suit up for the franchise while recovering from injury. According to Lewis, the franchise is not looking to trade him:

"Privately, Nets sources have intimated [that trading Simmons] is unlikely. And when asked if Simmons had gotten assurances he was in the Nets' long-term plans and would not be traded, a source close to the young All-Star told The Post simply that 'Ben is good.'

"Of course, the Nets might not have much choice in the matter. Simmons didn't play at all last season, citing first mental health and then back issues. While he did have surgery and is on schedule to be ready for training camp, according to a source, one league source said there was no chatter about the Nets actively shopping Simmons, while two said there was little market for him."

The Nets could always change their minds if they have a serious chance to acquire Mitchell, who has been one of the most consistent guards in the NBA since being drafted 13th overall in 2017.

During the 2021-22 season, the 25-year-old averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 67 games while shooting 44.8 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from deep.

The looming loss of Durant will be significant for the Nets, but adding Mitchell would also allow the team to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference. So, it's no surprise Brooklyn hasn't been ruled out as a potential destination for the Jazz guard.

The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets are also among the potential destinations for Mitchell.

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