Heat among those with expected interest in Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell, but …

CLEVELAND — Right now, the Cavaliers have no intention of trading All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. None. Zero. Nada.Donovan Mitchell drives to the basket vs. the Rockets

But that won’t stop the Internet from buzzing or keep other teams from dreaming.

The Miami Heat are among the big dreamers, and they are also big doers and recent achievers, advancing to the Finals last season. When a player is on the market, or even when he’s just involved in rumors, he’s generally linked to two teams — the Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The latter is the NBA’s biggest money-maker. The Heat are run by a Lakers legend, long-ago coach and current Miami president Pat Riley

Around the NBA and in the media, Riley is known as a man with a Lakers mindset. Namely, it’s championship or bust.

So when a player hits the rumor mill, the Heat are involved. Of course, it’s not always rumor. Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard and his agent came out and said they only wanted to play for the Heat this season, when demanding a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. Turns out, that wasn’t the least bit true.

Anyway, back to Mitchell. The buzz surrounding him in Cleveland has nothing to do with whether he wants to be there. He has said that his focus is only on the Cavs. Yet rival teams reportedly have already checked on his availability.

We don’t know who those teams are, but if the Heat are among them, it would not be a big surprise. Per Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Heat are at least expected to have interest in a Mitchell trade.

Also is an insiders piece on ESPN entitled, “Is this the right time for the Cavs to trade Donovan Mitchell?” The question is actually a fair one, as fans fear that Mitchell is as good as gone, if not at the end of this season, then the next, when he can become a free agent. Rumor is, he would like to someday play for his hometown New York Knicks.

But it wouldn’t be unlike the Heat to get involved.

“Additionally, Mitchell’s modest salary ($33.2 million) means it’s unlikely another team will have to cobble together multiple contracts to match,” ESPN’s Kevin Pelton wrote. “Miami has Tyler Herro ($27 million) and Kyle Lowry ($29.7 million) in that range, New York nearly gets there with Evan Fournier‘s $18.9 million salary and Brooklyn could use either Spencer Dinwiddie ($20.4 million) or Ben Simmons ($37.9 million) as the centerpiece.

“Depending on the construction, it might be easier to trade with these teams now because Dinwiddie and Lowry have expiring contracts, while Fournier’s deal is effectively expiring because his $19 million base salary for 2024-25 is a team option.”

So, there you have it. Will the Cavs trade Mitchell this season? I doubt it. But it’s not outside the realm of possibility. They do have to figure out if he intends to stay long-term, and they don’t want to run into a Lillard situation. That said, the Blazers were bad and Lillard gave them plenty of time to turn it around. The Cavs’ situation is nothing like that.

All we really know for sure is that Mitchell, the Cavs, and their fans should brace themselves. The chatter between now and the trade deadline on Feb. 8 is not going to end. It will likely only get more intense.

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