3 worst Donovan Mitchell trade destinations for Bulls

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3 worst Donovan Mitchell trade destinations for Bulls originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Jazz's roster-wide teardown might soon come to a head.

That's in reaction to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Utah is "showing a willingness to listen on possible trade scenarios" for Donovan Mitchell, who turns 26 in September and has three seasons (plus a player option) remaining on his contract.

With Zach LaVine maxed out and future first-round picks still owed to the Magic (in 2023) and Spurs (in 2025), don't expect the Chicago Bulls to feature too prominently in trade discussions for Mitchell. The Jazz, remember, have no obligation to deal the three-time All-Star, and if they do, will likely seek a package at least as gaudy as the five first-round picks and multiple flippable role players they received for Rudy Gobert.

But if Mitchell is moved, it could still impact the Bulls' hopes of contending in the 2022-23 season and beyond.

Here are three especially unideal destinations for Mitchell from a Bulls perspective:

New York Knicks

The Knicks were not in the Bulls' stratosphere last season. One year after making the playoffs as a No.4 seed with a 41-31 record in 2020-21, they regressed to a 37-45 record in 2021-22, falling to 11th in the East and failing to make the play-in.

But with Jalen Brunson, Mitchell and whichever members of their supporting cast stick around in a hypothetical trade scenario? The Knicks could very well leap back into the playoff picture.

Given their wealth of future draft assets, a potential blue-chip prospect in RJ Barrett, and Mitchell's ties to both the organization and city, New York also profiles as one of the more likely destinations for Mitchell if he is dealt.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors finished the 2021-22 season one seed better than the Bulls — fifth, with a 48-34 record. If they decided to consolidate a package for Mitchell, it could push them to even another level, especially given their strong defensive infrastructure.

Like New York, Toronto also ranks high on the list of teams that could put together an intriguing offer for Mitchell. They own all their future first-round picks, plus a trove of young talent — from Scottie Barnes to OG Anunoby to Gary Trent Jr. — and prime-aged veterans — Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet.

Miami Heat

The Heat finished at the top of the East last regular season, and fell one Jimmy Butler 3-pointer away from an NBA Finals berth despite an injury-plagued playoff run.

Even after losing PJ Tucker, adding Donovan Mitchell to their already-seasoned core would be bad news for the rest of the conference.

And that's without even mentioning the struggles the Bulls, specifically, had with Miami last season. They finished 2021-22 with an 0-4 record against the Heat and average margin of defeat of 12.5 points.

If a package built around Tyler Herro and picks intrigues Utah, expect Pat Riley to pounce — and the rest of the East to be worse off.

Honorable mention:

  • The Boston Celtics, who are fresh off a Finals berth, but don't appear poised for a seismic move like some of the above teams.

  • The Brooklyn Nets still have yet to resolve Kevin Durant's trade request, and could not trade for Mitchell with Ben Simmons on the roster because of a rule disallowing multiple players on designated rookie extensions that were acquired via trade to be employed by the same team. But if the Nets found a way to rapidly retool around Mitchell, they could be a playoff threat.

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