Though the 2019-20 NBA season isn’t yet over, trade rumors have already started swirling around Utah Jazz superstars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, reports revealed that Mitchell was frustrated with Gobert’s careless behavior before he was aware that he had been infected with the virus. As of now, the Jazz are doing their best to fix the relationship between two of their best players, but if they fail, they would be left with no choice but to trade one of them in the offseason.
In the potential deal involving Mitchell, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report mentioned the Denver Nuggets as one of the teams that may express a strong interest in acquiring him this summer. In the proposed trade scenario, the Nuggets would be sending a trade package including Michael Porter Jr., a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2022 first-round pick to the Jazz in exchange for Mitchell. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
At first glance, some people may think that the Nuggets are giving up too many valuable trade assets to the Jazz, but it’s only a reasonable asking price for a player of Mitchell’s caliber. Though he has concerns about his impact on Denver’s defense, Bailey believes that pairing Mitchell with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic could make the Nuggets one of the best offensive teams in the league next season.
“Denver, meanwhile, would suddenly inherit one of Utah’s problems: a small backcourt. If Jamal Murray (6’4″) started alongside Mitchell, opposing guards would likely feast on the perimeter. And while Nikola Jokic is an underrated defender, he doesn’t clean up mistakes the way Gobert does. Still, imagine trying to defend the Nuggets on the other end. With Jokic surveying the floor from the post, high post or top of the key and Mitchell and Murray cutting all over the floor, Denver would almost constantly have opposing defenses in scramble mode.”
Mitchell would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Nuggets, giving them another All-Star-caliber talent that fits the timeline of Jokic and Murray. As Bailey noted, the potential acquisition of Mitchell would further improve the Nuggets’ offense that currently ranks No. 11 in the league, scoring 109.5 points per 100 possessions. If Mitchell, Jokic, and Murray grow together and build good chemistry, the Nuggets could have a “Big Three” that would enable them to legitimately contend for the NBA championship title for years.
Meanwhile, if the trade proceeds, it would not only be beneficial for the Nuggets but also for the Jazz. In exchange for Mitchell, the Jazz would be acquiring a young and promising talent in Porter Jr. and two future first-round picks that they could use in another deal to further improve their roster.