3-Team Blockbuster Trade Lands Warriors Donovan Mitchell


Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz watches

In the NBA, the Golden State Warriors have a first-world problem.

After winning their fourth title in eight years, the Warriors have publicly talked about reviving it with contenders, while threading the needle and developing their young core to prepare for the future.

This may sound great in theory, but staying the course over the long term will be difficult to maintain and understand. Warriors owner Joe Lacob admitted that earlier this summer.

“These numbers aren’t even remotely possible,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of the over $400 million per season payout on The Athletic The TK Show on July 7. “They just aren’t. I already have problems with the rest of the league. We have problems because we are where we are.

As The Athletic reported on July 27, Stephen Curry wouldn’t be happy if longtime teammates Klay Thompson or Draymond Green were separated.

Curry sees the Big Three as a forfeit. While much of the talk this season has been about the Warriors’ plan to win and grow simultaneously, the veteran core doesn’t lose sight of how that plan disappeared in the playoffs.

Something has to give. If the team is not willing to pay the exorbitant amount to maintain their status as contenders and develop young players at the same time, the ball is going to fall one way or another.

10 Trade Lands Warriors Donovan Mitchell players

Taking into account that the Warriors probably won’t want to infuriate Curry by trading one of his longtime pals, here’s a possible trade that could keep the Dubs in contention while lowering their luxury tax.

The Golden State Warriors get:

  • Donovan Mitchell
  • Rudy Gay
  • Jarrod Vanderbilt
  • Three Jones

Utah Jazz get:

  • James Wiseman
  • Doug McDermott
  • Jacob Poeltl
  • Devin Vasell
  • Moses Moody
  • 2025, 2027 Warriors 1st round picks

San Antonio Spurs get:

  • Andre Wiggins
  • 2023 Warriors 1st round pick
  • 2023 Warriors 2n/a round pick

The Dubs manage to save about $4.3 million in this deal, which would save them about $30 million in luxury taxes for the year. Golden State would pay around $7 for every dollar spent, as reported here by Forbes.

Instead of chasing Kevin Durant and depleting their entire portfolio of assets, Mitchell isn’t a bad consolation prize and gives the Warriors another star they can invest in with the aging Big Three. The three years remaining on Mitchell’s contract gives the Dubs a long leash to keep one of the best explosive guards in the league today.

Tre Jones is considered one of the best backup playmakers in the league, and with the Warriors looking for more ballhandlers, he would be a perfect fit. Rudy Gay may be a bit older than he once was, but he can still provide defensive help as a wing. Jarrod Vanderbilt’s defensive presence is already solid and with Green’s help, he will only gain in the top flight.

It also keeps the core of the Big Three intact, while allowing the Dubs to give Jordan Poole an extension. Combined with the way the Warriors let all of their players walk and Lacob’s comments about cutting costs, there’s simply no way the team can successfully give extensions to both Wiggins and Poole.

Why would the Jazz and Spurs make this deal?

The Jazz essentially get six viable young assets in that trade, one more than the package Utah got in the Rudy Gobert trade.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype recently reported that the Jazz are looking to get even more for Mitchell than they did for Gobert.

According to several NBA executives who spoke to the Jazz about the Donovan Mitchell trade, Utah is looking for as many draft picks as possible and not prioritizing winning players. Utah is looking to land bigger loot for Mitchell than trading Rudy Gobert who earned four first-round picks and Minnesota’s 2022 first-rounder Walker Kessler, league sources tell HoopsHype.

The Jazz’s demand for five to six first-round picks will never be met, and the assets they would get here are close to that demand. Wiseman’s value couldn’t be lower than it is now, and he should be able to produce a lot, especially on a lottery-bound team. Devin Vassell and Moses Moody are two young players who already have solid 3-D games and should only improve as they gain more NBA experience.

Spurs would essentially drop Poeltl, who is in a contract year, and Vassell, a promising young goalkeeper. In return, they have the ability to build around Keldon Johnson and Andrew Wiggins. With Wiggins looking for a big payday, Spurs can afford to give him the maximum extension, especially with nearly $26.8 million in cap space.

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