While the NBA offseason has slowed down with the draft, free agency and Summer League behind us, there are still several high-profile stars who could be traded before training camp opens. According to a report by the Athletic, the Wizards have expressed interest in one of them and, no, it’s not Kevin Durant.
Shams Charania of the Athletic says the Wizards have contacted the Utah Jazz about star guard Donovan Mitchell. Here is what Charania wrote Monday morning:
“Along with New York, several other teams have expressed interest to the Jazz when it comes to Mitchell, such as Washington, Miami, Toronto, Charlotte, Sacramento and Atlanta, according to sources.”
Mitchell is a three-time All-Star and he’s only 25 years old, so getting him would be a tremendous feat for the Wizards who could then pair him with Bradley Beal, also a three-time All-Star. Beal and Mitchell would form one of the best offensive duos in the NBA. Both technically play the same position at shooting guard, but they can each handle the ball and make plays for others. Acquiring Mitchell would set aside any perceived overlap and focus on the simple fact the Wizards would have two very good players to build around.
Getting such a deal done, however, would definitely be difficult. After the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a collection of players, four first-round picks and a pick swap, the price for stars has seemingly been subject to inflation. The 2023, 2025 and 2027 first-round picks sent to Utah are unprotected, for instance.
The fact the Jazz were the team that agreed to that trade would suggest it’s a fairly accurate framework for what it would take to acquire Mitchell. And if they want even more first-round picks, that could put the Wizards at a disadvantage, as they still have their firsts from 2023 through 2026 tied up in protections due to the John Wall-Russell Westbrook trade.
If the Jazz wanted three first-round picks and a pick swap, the Wizards could not currently offer that. NBA teams can only trade draft picks up to seven years in the future and the next four firsts for the Wizards are currently part of the Wall-Westbrook deal.
Mitchell, though, is the type of talent that a team like the Wizards could justify getting creative for. He’s a very dynamic player and young enough to where he should have many years left in his prime. If they got Mitchell, he and Beal would likely make them a perennial playoff team with a chance to go on deep postseason runs.
There are considerable hurdles for a deal to get done, but the Wizards are evidently still trying to improve the roster and are thinking big.