Can the Hawks Trade for Donovan Mitchell?
The relationship between Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert “does not appear salvageable,” according to the Athletic. Gobert later downplayed the accusation.
In all likelihood the Jazz will not trade either, but certainly not 23-year old All-Star Donovan Mitchell. Still, teams around the league will be lurking.
The Atlanta Hawks are a few moves away, including finding another elite playmaker to pair with Trae Young. The young core is already quite intriguing - adding a bonafide star to the mix would certainly ratchet things up.
Mitchell would be a great fit with what the Hawks are building. Defenses would struggle to contain such a dynamic backcourt. The two could easily have their minute staggered as well; there would always be one All-Star on the court.
Because Atlanta has so many great young players and a flexible payroll situation, the Hawks could possibly roll the dice on a big trade without compromising the ability to provide Mitchell and Young adequate shooting and defensive help.
Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk would be wise to cash in on his club’s young, cost-effective assets. The team has another high-profile first-round pick en route, too, meaning Atlanta has all the ammo necessary to pull off a blockbuster. Bringing in a star still on his rookie deal is just icing on the cake.
There are so many different iterations for how this trade could happen. The Hawks have four different young pieces of varying trade value, along with future draft picks.
Here’s how some trades might look:
Let’s start with the simplest trade. This deal is a swap of Collins and Mitchell, with picks attached to sweeten the deal for Utah. If the relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert has indeed soured, the Jazz need to contemplate a true rebuild.
Collins is explosive and dripping with potential. His defensive identity is still lacking, which is why Atlanta coughs up two picks here.
This deal would be dynamite for the Hawks - they get to keep their three forwards who would slot in perfectly between Young, Mitchell, and Capela. The better lottery luck the Hawks have, the more likely the Jazz would do this deal.
Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando provide depth at the positions Utah would need, but the upside from this deal would be in the draft. Atlanta’s 2020 pick is sure to be one of the best in the draft, with two more shots at quality first-rounders here as well.
If the Jazz could grab one of the better guard prospects in this guard-heavy draft and pair him with Kevin Huerter, that would provide an adequate replacement for Mitchell. Fernando and the other two (likely mid to late) first round picks would help to even out the value.
I would consider this deal a solid compromise between the two teams. The first aspect is the swapping of shooting guards again, but this time the Jazz also get Cam Reddish, the best asset of the tradeable young Hawks (John Collins will be getting paid too soon to be considered the best asset).
Reddish and Huerter are good enough to keep the Jazz decent now, plus Reddish has a significant upside – especially in the Jazz system. Factor in the Jazz also losing Ed Davis, the elite Hawks first round pick from this year plus some more not as good draft capital evens out the value in this deal.
I’ll close with another simple deal. Instead of Collins and multiple picks, Huerter is now included. The Hawks are sending out a significant package here so the Jazz would also send back a second-round pick.