Much like the ongoing Kevin Durant trade saga, Donovan Mitchell's exit from the Utah Jazz may drag on deep into the summer.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that the Jazz discussed a Mitchell trade with the New York Knicks but will continue to canvass offers from around the league. As a result, Wojnarowski said, a final agreement "is going to take some time."
Utah seemed to wrap up the Rudy Gobert trade in relatively short order.
On June 28, The Athletic's Tony Jones reported the team was "still engaging in trade talk," with Gobert one of the possible outgoing pieces. Three days later, Wojnarowski was reporting the terms of the deal that sent him to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The massive haul the Jazz received for the veteran center (four first-round picks and additional compensation) might have guaranteed a Mitchell trade would be a drawn-out affair.
The 25-year-old guard is arguably a more valuable trade asset than Gobert, but one team executive told The Action Network's Matt Moore that it has become more difficult to gauge what a star like Mitchell is worth.
"How are we supposed to establish a market after that?" the executive said in reference to the Gobert trade. "It was one thing when Milwaukee [traded five firsts for Jrue Holiday], they were in a specific spot. If you want an All-Star, it starts with six picks, plus good rotation guys? It's going to poison the market for a while."
Mitchell is also under contract for at least three more seasons, while the Jazz know this is the last big move that will shape their direction moving forward. Utah has to fully capitalize on this opportunity, and it has the luxury of being able to wait around.
It's the exact same position that the Brooklyn Nets are in with Durant.
Keeping a star player who wants out can create a difficult dynamic, but that's preferable to shipping him out for a lower than expected return simply to get rid of him.
If the Jazz are going to dig their heels in—and it appears they are—Mitchell might be stuck in Salt Lake City longer than expected.