Donavan Mitchell trade talks

The Miami Heat had never made an offer for Donovan Mitchell

September 19, 2022

Miami reportedly never made an offer for Donovan Mitchell before he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

Despite the Heat’s pursuit of Mitchell this offseason, it’s no surprise that the team ended up not participating in the three-time All-Star’s sweepstakes.

Miami didn’t have the draft capital that the Cavaliers or New York Knicks had in their negotiations with Utah. This put the Heat at a severe disadvantage, even though the team could have offered the sixth man of the year, Herro, as a starting point for negotiations.

The Utah Jazz received three unprotected first-round picks and two picks from the Cavs for Mitchell. Because the Heat still owes the Oklahoma City Thunder a 2025 lottery-protected pick, the team can only trade that many drafts pick because the Stepien Rule prevents teams from trading their first-round picks in consecutive seasons.

The problem with the picks Miami owes the Thunder is that they will be unprotected in 2026 if they don’t certify in the 2025 season. Thus, Miami cannot trade its first-round pick in any draft.

Miami Heat could have offered a package centered around Herro, Duncan Robinson, and another young player, but there’s no guarantee a rebuilding Utah team would have considered such a trade.

The Jazz got two younger pieces in Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen, who is already under contract, and 2022 first-rounder Ochai Agbaji in the deal for Mitchell.

With Herro still needing a contract extension, that could have put even more pressure on the Heat to part with additional assets in case Utah couldn’t match the University of Kentucky product.

The Miami Heat don’t need Donovan Mitchell to compete in the East

Mitchell is a great player and averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game during the 2021-22 regular season while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.

However, the Heat have shown they can win with their current core.

Miami reached the NBA Finals in 2019-2020 and came one win away from making the NBA Finals last season. Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo have formed one of the best cores in the NBA, and they led the Miami Heat to the No. 1 seed in the East last season.

It didn’t make sense for Miami to pledge several key assets to Mitchell when the team is so close to a title without him. The Heat will now kick things back in the 2022-2023 season in hopes of representing the East in the NBA Finals.