With reports surfacing that Donovan Mitchell will sign an extension with the Utah Jazz, is he officially off the board for the Miami Heat?
Even as they’re succeeding in their playoff series against the reigning MVP and Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat are still connected to every rumor surrounding All-Stars among the league.
The timing isn’t surprising, given the Jazz’s Game 7 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday.
Mitchell was playing at a near-MVP level for Utah and finished the series averaging 36.3 points, 5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and a steal per game. The franchise is likely aiming to stop any potential rumor mill from starting to spin before it can even start by leaking this news.
Now, Miami has never been formally tied to Mitchell, even to the point of just having an interest in the All-Star guard. But when things started trending down in Utah this year, photoshops of the guard in a Heat uniform took over the Twitter timeline.
This is the case when pretty much any All-Star talent seems unhappy with their situation. Miami’s sitting smack in the middle of a “stars aligning” situation, as they’re projected to have max cap space in the 2021 offseason when Giannis Antetokounmpo and others will be free agents.
Mitchell would have been entering restricted free agency in that same offseason, had they not (or do not, I should say) come to terms on an extension. So that begs the question, is it safe to rule out any potential future for the guard in South Beach?
If the Miami Heat still want Donovan Mitchell, they can always trade for him.
Not entirely. Look, this is the NBA, anything is possible.
A year from now, or whenever the NBA timeline is once again at the playoffs, Mitchell and the Jazz could be coming off another first-round series loss. That’s bound to resurfacing some feelings of frustration the guard expressed clearly before making it to the locker room after Game 7.
To think that Pat Riley and the front office aren’t prepared to have to trade for an All-Star if their 2021 gamble falls short is ludicrous. It’s always been a possible scenario, albeit a more difficult task to pull off, given their lack of future draft compensation and current contracts.
But if the Godfather and the Heat feel Mitchell is their guy, don’t be surprised if they go the extra mile to make a deal work. It’s unlikely, but again, you can’t rule anything out.
Until the Miami Heat can enter what is a heavily anticipated offseason, they’ll have to see the end of their postseason, or championship, run. Game 2 tips off at 6:30 pm est on Wednesday.