NBA rumor: Miami Heat have 'bona fide interest' in trading for star scorer

The Miami Heat continue to be mentioned as the favorite to land Donovan Mitchell, but the Cleveland Cavaliers aren't listening to calls right now.

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Although the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t likely to trade Donovan Mitchell before the Feb. 8 deadline, league sources tell NBA insider Marc Stein that the Miami Heat have real interest in Mitchell should the Cavaliers ever decide to listen to calls for the star scorer.

Here’s more from Stein

"The Miami Heat, league sources say, continue to have bona fide interest in Mitchell despite Cleveland’s don’t-even-call-us approach. ... The Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will also always continue to be mentioned as potential Mitchell suitors, but multiple executives from rival front offices have mentioned to me in recent weeks that they regard the Heat as a prime team to watch for Mitchell fit-wise because, as one veteran personnel man put it, Miami has ‘the defensive infrastructure to get the most out of Mitchell’ with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo as its star duo and Erik Spoelstra.”"

NBA insider Marc Stein

Rumors continue to surround Mitchell’s future in Cleveland in part because he is extension-eligible this summer and may not have a desire to continue playing for the Cavaliers. The backcourt combination of Mitchell and Darius Gardland hasn’t worked out, and the Cavs haven’t taken the leap they had hoped after last season’s feel-good playoff berth.

If Mitchell, who can become a free agent in 2025, declines to sign an extension in Cleveland, it would make sense for the organization to listen to trade offers for the 27-year-old, four-time All-Star scorer.

But as Stein reported, the Cavaliers are far from that point, and will likely play this season out before coming to any conclusion. That report was echoed last week by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on the “Locked On Heat” podcast.

Interestingly, the Heat are being mentioned as the front-runner to trade for Mitchell. If trading for Mitchell is Miami’s priority, then a major move for another player before next month’s trade deadline is unlikely since the Heat will need to hold onto their prime assets and draft picks to facilitate a potential Mitchell deal in the summertime.