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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

1 team team the ‘clear front-runner’ to land Donovan Mitchell?

Donovan Mitchell looks on

Jan 16, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz are at least exploring the possibility of trading Donovan Mitchell, and there may only be one team that is capable of putting together a package that would convince them to part ways with the star guard.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote on Wednesday that the New York Knicks should be viewed as “the clear-front runner” if Mitchell is dealt. The Knicks have 11 total first-round picks in the next seven drafts. They also have a core of young players that might interest Utah’s front office.

One assistant general manager told Fischer that he believes the Jazz could be enticed by a package of R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and several first-round picks. The Miami Heat are considered another potential suitor for Mitchell, but many executives told Fischer that Barrett is viewed much more favorably around the NBA than Tyler Herro, who is the Heat’s best blue-chip trade piece.

There is no guarantee that the Jazz will trade Mitchell. Fischer also notes that they are still exploring ways to build around the three-time All-Star. Utah has explored a potential sign-and-trade scenario that would land them restricted free agent Collin Sexton from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Mike Conley, though the Cavs are not believed to have much interest.

It was reported over a week ago that the Jazz were committed to building around Mitchell after they traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, Mitchell may not have the full support of one key member of Utah’s front office.

At the very least, the Jazz are listening. The Knicks appear to have the most realistic chance of convincing them to part ways with their best player.

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