2. Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell was arguably the biggest name to swap teams this summer. With the Cleveland Cavaliers dealing Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks, and two pick swaps for the All-Star guard. Highlighting one of the boldest and most unexpected moves of the 2022 NBA offseason.
At one point in time, the New York Knicks appeared to be the favorites to land Mitchell. Then, the Miami Heat were the team ready to make a push. Heck, let’s be honest, just about every team in the NBA was linked to Donovan Mitchell at some point over the last few months. So, why didn’t the Denver Nuggets enter their name into the fold?
The Denver Nuggets would’ve had to give up too much
I think any Nuggets fan just looking at that trade package knows what I’m about to say; Denver just doesn’t have enough to offer. Outside of their only tradeable first-round pick, which is for 2029, a deal involving Mitchell would’ve had to include one of either Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr. Although, given that they’re both recovering from injuries, this is probably just the beginning of what Denver would have had to offer.
If the Jazz needed Sexton, Markkanen, three first-round picks, and two pick swaps, Denver likely would have needed to send over Murray and MPJ along with their 2029 first-round draft pick and multiple pick swaps to even contend. Realistically, it probably would’ve taken adding in Bones Hyland and another young player as well.
Essentially, the Denver Nuggets would have to trade away almost their entire core and future of the team just to get on Utah’s radar. Which seems extremely unnecessary given how close this team is to contending for an NBA title. With all of these players at full strength, there’s arguably no better team in the association.
Above all else, Utah Jazz GM, Danny Ainge, has made it known how much he values draft capital and assets. Neither of which the Denver Nuggets have at the moment.