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The Eastern Conference may be getting a whole lot tougher next season.

The offseason may be months away, but the trade rumor mill is already churning and all eyes have turned toward Utah where big changes appear to be on the horizon. Both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have piqued the interest of teams around the league as potential trade candidates this summer, according to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer.

While the Toronto Raptors are reportedly a team to watch in the Rudy Gobert sweepstakes, albeit an unlikely trade partner, the bigger story for Toronto may involve Mitchell's availability and the possibility of him switching conferences and joining the New York Knicks or Miami Heat for next season, the two teams most connected to the 6-foot-1 shooting guard, per Fischer.

The Knicks took a major step back this past season after clinching a playoff berth in 2020-21. Julius Randle went from an All-NBA player two seasons ago to the scapegoat in New York this past year and it now appears the Knicks are once again looking for a superstar to call their own.  

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"Jazz personnel took great umbrage to Knicks executives William Wesley and Allan Houston and All-Star forward Julius Randle sitting courtside during Utah's Game 1 road win over the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs," a source reportedly told Fischer.

The Heat continue to be connected to superstars even after re-signing Jimmy Butler and adding Kyle Lowry last summer. 

Toronto is unlikely to dip into the Mitchell waters this summer if he does become available. It would certainly require moving some of the Raptors' core players and Raptors president and vice-chairman Masai Ujiri said that is not something he's interested in doing right now.

Further Reading

Can the Raptors be all about size and versatility with Fred VanVleet on the roster? Masai Ujiri explains why it works

Masai Ujiri drops a hint regarding Chris Boucher's upcoming free agency

Masai Ujiri gets emotional praising Pascal Siakam & Raptors forward explains what's next