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Nets Rumors: Donovan Mitchell Coveted as Kevin Durant Successor amid Trade Buzz

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 15, 2022

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The trade rumors connecting Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and the New York Knicks have run rampant over the past few days, but a pair of other Eastern Conference teams are reportedly in the mix.

Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein reported the latest on interest in Mitchell from the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets.

"Mitchell is Miami's favorite current trade target not named Kevin Durant," Stein wrote. "Brooklyn is believed to covet Mitchell with a similar fervor to install him as a potential successor to Durant as the Nets' cornerstone player."

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic and Tony Jones of The Athletic reported Wednesday that the Knicks and Jazz started talks surrounding Mitchell. ESPN's Brian Windhorst went so far as to say Friday that the Knicks are the favorites to pick him up:

Adam Zagoria @AdamZagoria

Per <a href="https://twitter.com/WindhorstESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WindhorstESPN</a> it also 'increases the likelihood that this is going to be a New York Knicks situation' for Donovan Mitchell b/c Ayton can't be traded.<br><br>"Moves the Knicks even further into the favorite spot for Donovan Mitchell" <a href="https://t.co/IRpgJecu7p">https://t.co/IRpgJecu7p</a>

However, it appears the Heat and Nets are at least in the picture per the Stein report.

The Nets and Heat are involved in trade rumors primarily surrounding Brooklyn star forward Kevin Durant, who has requested a move out of town.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Durant has eyed the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat as potential next destinations, and both of those teams have had "pretty consistent contact" with the Nets regarding a potential KD move.

Simultaneously, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has also been the centerpiece of reported trade talks with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on July 2 that Irving and L.A. point guard Russell Westbrook are the core pieces in trade talks involving the Nets and Lakers.

An Irving-for-Kyle Lowry trade with the Nets and Heat apparently isn't off the table, per longtime NBA reporter Frank Isola.

Frank Isola @TheFrankIsola

From what I’ve heard Kyrie for Kyle Lowry is not out of the question. <a href="https://t.co/5SEb9kXTAK">https://t.co/5SEb9kXTAK</a>

There are a ton of moving parts right now with Durant, Irving and Mitchell all potentially heading out of their respective towns. As it stands Friday, the Knicks would appear to be in the lead for Mitchell even if the Nets and Heat are in the mix.

As for Brooklyn and Miami, they've been more connected to other non-Mitchell deals at this point, so it doesn't appear like Mitchell is headed to either place at this time.

Still, NBA offseasons typically offer bombshell surprises, and this year has been no exception.

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