Donovan Mitchell Likely to Decline $37.1M Option, Enter Free Agency; Heat a Top Destination

NBA star Donovan Mitchell is expected to decline his $37.1 million player option, becoming an unrestricted free agent after next season. The Miami Heat are reportedly a top destination for Mitchell, who has a strong relationship with Bam Adebayo and admiration for Heat legend Dwyane Wade.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Donovan Mitchell Likely to Decline $37.1M Option, Enter Free Agency; Heat a Top Destination

Donovan Mitchell Likely to Decline $37.1M Option, Enter Free Agency; Heat a Top Destination

NBA star Donovan Mitchell is expected to decline his $37.1 million player option for the 2025-26 season, making him an unrestricted free agent after next season. This move would give the 27-year-old, five-time All-Star the opportunity to explore other options and potentially leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mitchell's supporting cast has been a problem throughout the postseason, and the Cavaliers may struggle to convince him to sign a long-term extension. If they fail to do so, trading him might be the ideal option to recoup some of the assets they sent to the Utah Jazz to acquire him.

NBA insiders believe that Mitchell has theMiami Heat "high"on his list of destinations, likely due to his strong relationship with Bam Adebayo and appreciation for Heat legend Dwyane Wade. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report notes,"Of all the NBA guards, Mitchell may be the closest to Heat legend and Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade. He will be 28 before next season (seven years younger than Butler). He has a strong relationship with Bam Adebayo and is said (by multiple NBA insiders) to have Miami high on his list of destinations."

The Heat are looking to provide further help to their core players Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro after their first-round exit from the playoffs. Mitchell, entering his prime years, could be the perfect addition to the team. He has a solid playoff record, averaging 28.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 53 games.

There is also speculation about the future of Jimmy Butler, including a potential contract extension or return to the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the possibility of adding Mitchell to the Heat roster could significantly impact their plans and the NBA free agency landscape.