The Toronto Raptors are trying to pry Kevin Durant away from the Nets, but it appears as though an A+ backup plan has surfaced if they are unable to pull this move off. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Utah Jazz sound willing to move Donovan Mitchell in a trade.
After sending Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves for an impressive haul, Utah appears ready to dip entirely into rebuild mode and give up Mitchell. Even though his defense is a significant point of concern, there are few players in the NBA that can fill up the stat sheet as efficiently and consistently as he can.
Mitchell going to the Raptors remains a major longshot, but the fact that they are still so deep into Durant talks proves that Masai Ujiri is willing to move off of some prized assets if it means he can get a star player. If the Nets won’t KD without getting Scottie Barnes, Toronto could pivot to Mitchell.
Mitchell has scored at least 20 points per game in every season he’s been in the league and at least 24 per game in each of the past three years. It would take a huge haul to get him, but Mitchell would give the Raptors a championship-ready team if they pulled this deal off.
This Toronto Raptors trade brings Donovan Mitchell to Canada.
The Anunoby-Trent package is still going to be what sells the Jazz on trading Mitchell to Canada. This may sting to lose, but neither of them will come close to Mitchell’s ceiling as a playmaker and scorer. Playing off-ball alongside Fred VanVleet could be a match made in heaven.
Two first-round picks and the right to swap first-round picks in 2024 should be enough to satisfy Utah. The Gobert haul looks much bigger than this, but Minnesota didn’t offload one player close to Anunoby or Trent’s caliber in that deal. This should lessen the number of draft picks Toronto has to surrender.
Toronto could do well to pry Alexander-Walker away from the Jazz. After showing some promise in New Orleans before getting benched in Utah, NAW could reignite his NBA career as a bench gunner in Toronto. Anunoby and Trent could get starring roles in Utah while the Raptors get an All-Star talent to help lead the backcourt.
If the Raptors continue to have that excellent defensive gameplan that made them so successful last year, they could get a much-needed injection of offense. Still just 25 years old and with multiple All-Star seasons in the windshield ahead of him, Mitchell may justify such an outrageous deal.