There’s an “overwhelming feeling” among NBA insiders that Donovan Mitchell will leave the Jazz when his contract expires in 2025 if he’s not traded before then, writes Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. That explains why Utah is exploring the trade market for the three-time All-Star even though he has three years plus a player option left on his contract.
Mitchell spent most of this offseason in his native New York City and still considers the area to be home, Larsen adds. The Knicks have been engaged in trade talks involving Mitchell, but those discussions have stalled as New York is unwilling to meet Utah’s hefty asking price of young players and draft assets.
There’s a sense that Mitchell may want to leave Salt Lake City for a larger market that would give him a chance to get more exposure and more money from sponsors, according to Larsen, who cites Miami as another potential destination.
There’s more from Utah:
- Mitchell is likely to be moved before the start of the season, if only because the “optics” will make that an easier choice for the Jazz than bringing him back, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News opines in a mailbag column. Todd believes the Knicks are the most likely destination, but another team may have to be involved to get the deal completed. She speculates that other roster moves will be determined by whatever the team gets in return for Mitchell.
- If the Jazz decide to commit fully to rebuilding, the upcoming season will be very important for Jared Butler, Todd adds in the same piece. The 21-year-old shooting guard was taken with the 40th pick in the 2021 draft, but he saw limited playing time as a rookie, averaging just 8.6 minutes per night in 42 games. If Mitchell is traded, Butler should have plenty of opportunity to prove he can succeed at the NBA level.
- Assistant coach Bryan Bailey is being promoted to the front of the Jazz bench, alongside Alex Jensen and Lamar Skeeter, tweets Tony Jones of the Athletic. All three served on former coach Quin Snyder‘s staff. In addition, Utah will hire former Spurs staffer Sean Sheldon to their coaching staff, according to Jones.