There is an NBA All-Star in the market.
Donovan Mitchell’s name has been mentioned around in media circles in New York and Miami as the sharks continue to circle the Utah Jazz’s star guard in the wake of the Rudy Gobert deal. Everyone senses the Jazz could be a team due for a rebuild and anyone needing a star with enough draft picks and young players should have their ears perked up.
At this point, neither of the favorites — the New York Knicks or Miami Heat — have been successful in acquiring his service. The price is still pretty high and Jazz president of basketball operations Danny Ainge always drives a hard bargain.
And with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving still hanging around the market, there are a lot of teams with both feet in trying to find a star. Once Summer League closes, everyone will be waiting for these big deals to go down.
Judging by what the Jazz got for Rudy Gobert — Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, four first-round draft picks and a pick swap in 2026 — they are going to want another major haul to execute a deal. The mix of big salaries, young players and draft picks will be necessary to get it done.
That is something the Orlando Magic have. So why not pitch an offer to the Jazz to spice things up this summer and help propel the Magic’s rebuild forward faster.
As the NBA’s offseason has a few final players to sort through, the Orlando Magic are a team that should be on the watch to acquire Donovan Mitchell because they have all the tools and the need for a genuine star.
The Magic have not had a respected perennial All-Star caliber player to play in Central Florida since Dwight Howard left for the Los Angeles Lakers a decade ago. This seems like a great opportunity to at least try to start making a contending roster, especially with Paolo Banchero arriving as the top overall pick.
Acquiring the services of a player on Mitchell’s level will be quite a task for this organization and will probably have to be willing to get rid of the majority of the team’s young talent. But if the Magic’s goal is to build a championship contender then this is the quickest way.
The Magic would likely want to hold onto young budding stars in Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. But just about anyone else could be available to meet the Jazz’s high demand. Guys like Jonathan Isaac, Jalen Suggs, R.J. Hampton, Chuma Okeke and Wendell Carter are all expendable assets that can begin the negotiations for Donovan Mitchell.
The Orlando Magic also have all of their own draft picks plus the Chicago Bulls’ 2023 pick and a 2025 pick from the Denver Nuggets.
The Jazz are attempting to rebuild after they traded Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves for five first round picks. It would be hard for the Jazz to find a better collection of young players and draft picks than what the Magic could offer.
It would be hard for the Magic to find a player on this trade market or anywhere who could immediately raise the team’s short-term ceiling quite like Mitchell.
Last year the six-year veteran and 25-year-old guard averaged 25.9 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game and 5.3 assists per game. Mitchell is one of the top shooting guards in the NBA today.
The Magic are in a great position to make an offer to the Jazz because the Jazz are not looking to get an All-Star level player back in a trade for a player like Mitchell. They seemingly want to build a cache of draft picks to make their next move.
If the Jazz were trying to get back an All-Star level player in the trade like how the Brooklyn Nets are in order to complete the trade for Durant, then the Magic would not have anyone on the roster to entice a trade.
Orlando would be a great location for a guy like Mitchell because his role would not change in Orlando. He would still be the number one option and a mentor to the younger players on the roster like how he is in Utah.
The only difference in his role is he would responsible for leading the number one pick in the 2022 NBA Draft in his first couple of years in Orlando.
Banchero looks to be the future and probably will be a better player than Mitchell in his third or fourth year in the NBA. But that would give Banchero the chance to grow and develop in a winning environment with a player on a similar timeline. The Magic could become an instant playoff team with the chance to get better as Banchero and Wagner continue to improve.
The only downside to making such a deal at this juncture would be the difficulty the team might have in filling out the rest of its roster for this upcoming season. Orlando would be scrambling to rebuild its roster after most of free agency was done.
If this transaction was done Orlando would be one of those Eastern Conference teams that could potentially be a playoff team. That would be a huge upgrade to the franchise and a big boost to the confidence for a rookie player like Banchero.
One thing is for sure, Mitchell would lend the Magic instant credibility in the national spotlight and would make them a sure playoff contender immediately. The question would only be how quickly the team can build around him and Banchero and just how quickly Banchero can reach an All-Star level himself.
If the Magic went for Mitchell that would be a clear sign the team believes Banchero is an All-Star quicker.
To be sure, Orlando knows it will have to make some decisions on its roster sooner than later. That may not happen this year — the Magic may want to see how this group plays out in the short-term before making long-term changes to the group.
But the clock is ticking and Orlando will need to strike rich while Wagner and Banchero are on their rookie contracts.
How many better opportunities will there be than Mitchell?
The Magic do not have a lot of time to make a move because the Jazz seem anxious to start their new season without him on their roster.
Orlando is certainly a team capable of putting together a package for the young star. The tea is also desperately in need of the star power he can provide.