NBA Rumors: Hated Knicks rival labeled as 'prime team' to trade for Donovan Mitchell

Will the Donovan Mitchell trade talk ever end?
New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell
New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Donovan Mitchell and the New York Knicks have been intertwined for a couple of years, even though the guard has never suited up for the organization. From the trade talks in 2022 that ended with Mitchell going to Cleveland to Mitchell's current extension situation, he can't escape the Knicks.

Literally. Last year, New York sent Mitchell and Cleveland home in the first round of the playoffs, further accelerating the idea that he could request a trade. He didn't sign an extension before the October deadline, so this season is critical for the Cavaliers.

Mitchell has a $37 million player option in 2025-26, one he could opt out of to become a free agent next summer. If he doesn't sign an extension in Cleveland, the front office will need to seriously consider trading him. At this point, that isn't something Cleveland is considering. NBA insider Marc Stein reported (subscription required) that the Cavaliers "want to play this season out before contemplating major roster changes."

If Mitchell does eventually hit the trade market, though, one team in the East could make an aggressive offer for him.

Executives say Heat are "prime team to watch" in potential Donovan Mitchell trade

Stein mentioned that the Knicks and Nets are two teams to watch in a trade for Mitchell but that the Heat are a "prime team to watch" because of his fit in Miami with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Erik Spoelstra.

The Heat have struck out on several stars in the past. Most recently, on Damian Lillard. He specifically said he wanted to go to Miami, but Portland's front office wasn't interested in that. Instead, he was traded to Milwaukee, where he's teamed up with Giannis Antetokounmpo, making the Heat's path in the East more difficult.

Miami was interested in Mitchell in 2022, and the front office is looking for another star to pair alongside Butler. If Mitchell becomes available, the Heat will need to outbid teams like the Knicks. Perhaps Miami's strong interest in the guard could push Cleveland toward listening to offers for him.

Maybe by the time the Cavaliers are ready to field offers for Mitchell (if that happens), the Knicks will have taken themselves out of the running by trading for another star. Even if that's the case, the last thing New York fans should want is to see Mitchell suit up for Miami.