What a Donovan Mitchell Deal to Philadelphia Would Look Like

Dec 9, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives against Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives against Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Trade rumors are heating up around the Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, and many are wondering if he will be on the move in the next couple of weeks. Every team in the league has its eyes on Mitchell, but not every team can offer a compelling enough package for the Jazz to trade away their young star.

Utah Jazz: The Sixers could offer a compelling package

After the compensation that Utah received from Minnesota for Rudy Gobert, another organization will need to give up a significant number of assets to pry Mitchell away from the Jazz. The Philadelphia 76ers are one organization that have the pieces to go after the young star.

Embiid and Harden are almost certainly untouchable from a trade standpoint. That leaves the Sixers with Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and future picks as their main bargaining pieces. It seems as though the Sixers could create a package with these players and picks that Utah would accept.

The question is, how much are the Sixers willing to give up for a chance to land Mitchell? Let’s break down what a trade would look like between the Jazz and Sixers.

Tobias Harris’s name is cemented into any deal for Mitchell, solely with the purpose to balance salary caps. He recently signed a 5-year $180 million deal that goes through the 2023-2024 season, with a cap hit of around $37.6 million this year. Mitchell is currently on a 5-year $163 million deal, set to make just over $30 million this upcoming season.

Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and a significant amount of future draft picks are probably the first package the Sixers will offer.

It is unlikely that Utah will accept this deal. The offers from other teams will likely be better than this, given how much they got for Rudy Gobert.

The key piece in this deal is Tyrese Maxey, a player who the Sixers are hoping to retain in trade negotiations.

After a solid rookie season in 2020 where he came off the bench, Maxey was given an opportunity to start for an entire season in 2021. The second-year guard out of Kentucky broke out, averaging 17.5 points per game and shooting almost 43% from deep. There is no doubt that Maxey has a bright future ahead, but do the Sixers give him up for a chance to bring Mitchell to Philly?

The Sixers are in win-now mode and are trying to build a championship-winning team around their star, Joel Embiid, who is coming off back-to-back second-place finishes in the MVP race. The team has had a good offseason so far. They re-signed Harden for $15 million less and brought in pieces like PJ Tucker, Deanthony Melton, and Danuel House Jr. Mitchell could be the missing piece that gets the Sixers over their recent playoff hump.

Now if you are Utah, are Maxey and Harris enough to convince you to part ways with Mitchell? While Mitchell’s name is being floated around the league, there is no sense of urgency from Utah to ship him. There is a good chance that Donovan Mitchell remains with the team heading into next season, so Maxey and Harris are probably not enough.

I would say that Philly needs to include Thybulle or Paul Reed and a first-round pick to get Utah to budge in any trade negotiations. Utah would need to include another player or two if the Sixers are willing to part ways with this many assets.

Rudy Gay is a name that I could see being included. His cap hit of just over $6 million this season, would balance cap problems. It also makes sense from the perspective of the Sixers, who would need a forward after trading Harris. While Gay is not the long-term answer, he can be a rotational piece who can play important minutes if you need him to.

Patrick Beverly is another name that I could see Utah being willing to include in trade negotiations with the Sixers. If the Jazz are planning to ship Donovan Mitchell and head for a rebuild, Beverly will want to play for a contender, so I do not see him having a long career in Utah.

Including both Gay and Beverly in this deal is what could convince the Sixers to part ways with their young guards. These players will not be important pieces to a Jazz rebuild, but they would play key minutes on a championship-caliber Sixers team.

If the Sixers and Jazz engage in serious trade discussions for Mitchell I think they end up at a place where the trade looks like this:

If Utah accepts this deal, they will likely not be competing for the 9th or 10th seed in the West and destined to rebuild. I would guess that they look to trade Tobias Harris to a contender, and use the picks they have in the future to build around Maxey.

This would be a very Thunder-like rebuild, where the organization is currently building their team around Shai-Gilgeous Alexander through the draft.

Now for the Sixers, after this trade, their starting lineup would be something like Mitchell, Harden, Tucker, Gay, and Embiid, with Melton, Beverly, House Jr., Korkmaz, Niang, and Reed all coming off the bench. This probably elevates them to a top 2-3 seed in the East.

Maybe they win the East in the regular season. They did it in 2020 with a worse team. I think this team at least makes it to the conference finals and loses in a close series to the Bucks.

The most glaring issue would be the team’s forwards. Having Gay and Tucker as their potential starting SF and PF is problematic. Maybe Melton or Beverly can slot into the starting lineup, but that would mean playing a very small lineup with three guards. This does not seem like the best idea.

The Sixers could make another deal to acquire some more depth at the forward position. Maybe then I would bump them up my number one seed in the East.

I just think a healthy Bucks team, with Giannis, Middleton, and Holiday, is the team to beat in the East. I think the Sixers would compete with a Celtics team, who will be even better after acquiring Brogdon, and a strong Heat team who beat the Sixers the year before for the two seed in the East.

I do believe these Sixers would beat the same Heat team next year if they meet, but that is assuming they have Donovan Mitchell on their team.

Next. Donovan Mitchell Could be Traded Next. dark

While nothing around Mitchell is certain, it will be a story to keep an eye on in the near future.