The Miami Heat reportedly maintain a very real interest in Donovan Mitchell as a trade target despite the fact the Cleveland Cavaliers are maintaining they have no interest in dealing the All-Star at this time.
“The Miami Heat, league sources say, continue to have bona fide interest in Mitchell despite Cleveland’s don’t-even-call-us approach and could well choose to test that resolve with Mitchell proposals after Miami’s trade pursuits of Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard over the summer ended with neither player landing on South Beach,” wrote Marc Stein.
Mitchell’s long-term future in Cleveland is an open question due to the fact that he has yet to commit to a contract extension. Though NBA teams reportedly believe Cleveland will be forced to eventually trade the 27-year-old, the Cavaliers front office reportedly claims it has no idea why people are talking about that possibility.
Miami this past offseason failed in its attempts to land another star to have alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The Heat were linked to Lillard, Beal and Jrue Holiday at various points before the 2023-24 NBA season, but all of those players wound up getting traded elsewhere, with two landing with significant Eastern Conference rivals.
Lillard went from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks; Beal went from the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns; and Holiday went first from the Bucks to the Trail Blazers before being dealt to the Boston Celtics.
Prying Mitchell away from another Eastern Conference foe in the Cavaliers may be difficult, but he would be a significant upgrade in the Miami rotation. After failing to land a significant new player during this past offseason, the Heat are taking a 21-15 record into their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
They are holding the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference entering play Wednesday despite missing starters Tyler Herro, Butler and Adebayo for varied numbers of games with injuries.
Butler will miss another game with a toe injury on Wednesday and has played just once since Dec. 18. However, the Heat are 6-2 in the eight games without him in that span.