The Toronto Raptors have finalized their 20-man roster for training camp, but they could throw a wrench into things if they decide to make a league-changes acquisition of Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. After trading Rudy Gobert, Utah is moving towards a rebuild.
Mitchell averaged 25.9 points per game last season, and throwing him into a lineup that already has Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet would make the Raptors a no-doubt contender in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, trade talks have slowed to a crawl.
The New York Knicks have been in on Mitchell consistently since the start of trade talks, even throwing around names like Obi Toppin as a potential Jazz return. Unfortunately, those close to Utah seem to think that Masai Ujiri is incapable of meeting an absurd asking price.
According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Jazz are prioritizing draft picks rather than players that could help them win now in a Mitchell deal. Considering the Knicks have bushels of future draft picks, yet have been refusing to capitulate to Utah’s demands, a trade is looking less likely now.
The Toronto Raptors may not get Donovan Mitchell.
The Raptors’ package for Mitchell would likely be headlined by Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby. While both of them would be impact players for Utah as well as prized assets that the Jazz can flip elsewhere for picks, it seems like Utah wants draft control up front for Mitchell.
Having averaged at least 20 points per game in every season he’s been in the NBA and with a history of playing well in the postseason despite Utah’s early exits, it’s easy to see why Mitchell’s value is as high as it is. Even with some poor defense, Mitchell is one of the game’s best shooting guards.
The Raptors have been willing to give up some of their best players in exchange for game-changers like Kawhi Leonard, but Ujiri has rarely surrendered multiple years of draft control. With Utah wanting complete control of the Knicks’ draft for the next half-decade, Toronto might not be a suitable trade partner.
While the Raptors would be perfectly fine in moving forward with Trent and Anunoby, there’s no doubt that the quality Mitchell possesses could be a game-changer for this franchise. Unless Toronto goes all-in and gives into Utah’s demands, Danny Ainge probably won’t make this happen.