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Getty Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz in action against Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets

The NBA free agency period is seemingly waiting for the shoe to drop with what happens with the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant. The Miami Heat are one of the teams that have been widely reported at being in on the Durant sweepstakes.

However, the Heat may not be able to pull something off, especially if you factor in that Bam Adebayo couldn’t be part of any Nets deal without Ben Simmons. If they can’t pull off a Durant trade, expect the Heat to further their Donovan Mitchell pursuit. 

On July 1, the Utah Jazz pulled off a trade to send Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a haul of picks and Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarret Vanderbilt, and picks Walker Kessler and Leandro Bolmaro. With the Jazz accomplishing the much-needed split of Mitchell and Gobert, signs would point suggest that Mitchell would be staying in Utah, right? Not exactly. 

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst commented saying, “Talking to league executives who saw some of this coming, they think it would be abnormal for Donovan [Mitchell] to not want out at this point. There are teams out there who are now revving up the possibility of calling Utah.”

This is where the door opens back up for the Heat to go after Donovan Mitchell. 

All Signs in Utah Point to a Danny Ainge Rebuild

Donovan Mitchell has been a part of so much change in Utah. Gobert is now gone. Quin Snyder is gone. They have switched to new and totally abysmal jerseys. There is a new owner, Danny Ainge became the team’s governor so much. Now he is alone with a cloud of uncertainty. Why would he want to stick around? 

“Now, we are seeing the writing on the wall that at the very least, Danny Ainge wants to rebuild in Utah,” Logan Murdock said on a July 2 episode of The Ringer NBA Show. “But everything suggests that the writing is on the wall for Donovan Mitchell to leave.” 

Where does Murdock think Mitchell will land? He mentioned the Heat or possibly even the Phoenix Suns. 

“I don’t know if the bags are packed, but we’re (Mitchell) looking at spots in some beachside homes somewhere in Florida.” Murdock continued. 

Mitchell in Miami?

It has been widely reported that Mitchell has an interest in the Miami Heat. Some of that news came from rapper Fat Joe. 

“In an April 2022 episode of the Certified Buckets podcast, New York City hip-hop legend Fat Joe told me he is close to Mitchell and that Mitchell’s dream is playing for Miami, not his hometown Knicks,” the New York Daily’s Kristian Winfield noted.

Mitchell has already been linked to Heat players this postseason in his workouts and at a party. 

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Whether or not they are able to make a trade for Durant or Mitchell, the potential trade packages for Mitchell per The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson suggest the Heat offer up Duncan Robinson, Omer Yurtseven, Tyler Herro, and a first-round pick in exchange for Mitchell.

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Heats Victor Oladipo discusses his Revenge Tour, workouts with Russell Westbrook

Victor Oladipo calls it his Revenge Tour, the Miami Heat guard regularly filling his social media with posts about his grueling offseason workout schedule, including recent sessions with Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles.

As he explained on Vince Carter’s VC Show podcast, it has been work with the singular goal of getting back to the All-Star level previously reached before a string of knee and quadriceps issues.

“That’s something that I came up with, just because I felt like the last couple of years have been really tough on me,” Oladipo said, “and I’ve obviously gone through a lot individually and my team, my family have gone through a lot with me collectively.”

Last year, that meant Oladipo playing on an NBA-minimum salary, spending more than half the schedule rehabbing before a late-season debut.

But, from there, there were breakout moments during the Heat’s playoff run within one victory of the NBA Finals, and then a two-year, $18 million free-agency contract to return.

Now, the focus is singular, the intent of his summer of sweat geared toward one reality.

“That I’m one of the best players in the world. Period,” the 30-year-old veteran said. “I think that my injury has kind of built a misconception of who I am as a player.”

Even with the salary upgrade, free-agency interest was tepid, leaving Oladipo with further fuel.

“Why can’t I come back from this injury and what I’ve been through and have an even greater career than I thought I could have prior to it? Why can’t I?” Oladipo said in a passionate moment during the interview with Carter. “And I don’t see no reason why I can’t.

“So I truly believe that I can, and that’s what I’m trying to prove to myself, first and foremost, is that I’m capable of great things even now, it’s never too late, no matter what anyone says or what the world may think or what people tell you.”

In many ways, Oladipo finds himself in a similar place as Westbrook, who, at 33, increasingly finds himself among those who doubt his ability to reclaim prior All-Star form.

Oladipo and Westbrook were teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016-17.

“Me and Russ go way back,” Oladipo said. “We played together when he won MVP. So he prepared me for the following year to have the year I had after I left OKC. And I felt like I prepared himself for his MVP season before he became MVP. And right now, we’re on the same wavelength.

“We’re not going to let each other fail.”

Amid his rehab work after he was acquired by the Heat from the Houston Rockets at the 2021 NBA trading deadline for Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley, Oladipo insisted a better version would emerge, even while limited to four regular-season appearances with the Heat in 2020-21 and eight this past season.

Now, for the first time since 2018, there has been the ability to challenge himself during an offseason.

“I’m itching just thinking about it. It’s so crazy. It’s like a rebirth,” the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA draft said. “And being in my 10th year, it feels like I’m in Year One all over again. But it’s like a Year One with a little bit of experience.

“I’m going to prepare myself for any and everything this summer. So whatever happens next year, it’s no shock to me.”

All while planning to arrive at training camp the final week of September as both a new man as well as his former All-Star self.

“I make sure people know that I’m coming for everybody,” he said of his Revenge Tour. “At the end of the day, it really don’t matter who it is. I just want to prove that I’m Victor Oladipo and I stand for who I am.”

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