Blockbuster Trade Proposal Brings All-Star Guard ‘Home’

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

Getty RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

Not many teams are as bereft of star power as the New York Knicks, despite the team being one of the bigger markets in the NBA landscape.

However, according to a trade proposal by Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey on June 6, that brings Donovan Mitchell to New York, the team’s search for a new star could soon be over. The trade looks like this:

  • Utah Jazz receive: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier, and a 2024 first-round draft pick
  • Knicks receive: Donovan Mitchell

“If Mitchell wants out, Barrett alone is a heck of a prize. To make sure the deal is accepted, though, New York would have to up the ante with Immanuel Quickley (another promising guard) and a first-round pick (always enticing). As for Evan Fournier, he’s mostly in there for salary-matching purposes, but his shooting would make sense in lineups with countryman Rudy Gobert,” Bailey wrote in his article on June 6.

The Utah Jazz is currently in a state of flux following the resignation of Quin Snyder, and teams will now be circling as they bid to test Utah’s resolve to keep their current core together as opposed to hitting the reset button following another disappointing early post-season exit.

Stephen A Smith Sounds Off on Mitchell to Knicks

Part of being one of the bigger market teams in the league is that you have numerous high-profile fans that will happily share their opinions with the masses. Not many people currently boast a bigger profile than Stephen A Smith, and the ESPN analyst is known to be vocal about the current state of his favorite team.

On a June 6 episode of First Take, the outspoken analyst explained why he believes the Knicks currently don’t deserve a player of Mitchell’s caliber on the team.

“I’m a native New Yorker, I’m a die-hard Knicks fan, I route for them, and they make me sick to my stomach because I’m emotionally connected to this franchise who repeatedly frustrates me and ticks me off…the New York Knicks are a national embarrassment because of James Dolan…In the end, what it comes down to is this, they tick me off, they don’t deserve Donovan Mitchell, but I hope they get Donovan Mitchell, that would make me ecstatic,” Smith said.

Regardless of Smith’s views, the Knicks will always command a certain amount of “pulling power”, especially to a native New Yorker like Mitchell, and the allure of helping the Knicks return to prominence may be too much of a draw to turn down.

Mitchell Could Re-Invigorate Randle

Let’s be honest, despite his poor season, Julius Randle is still capable of shouldering a large offensive load for the Knicks if they can re-invigorate him the way they did during the 2020-21 season.

Giving Randle some star-level help like Mitchell could be exactly what snaps the multi-faceted big man out of his current funk and brings out his inner All-Star. After all, you don’t lose talent, just motivation, and being part of a dynamic duo that is capable of closing the gap on teams like the Brooklyn Nets should be more than enough to draw the best out of any player.

Mitchell is coming off the back of a stellar season where he averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 44.8% from the field and 35.5% from deep. Sure, giving up Barrett and Quickley would be a steep price to pay, but bringing in a star of Mitchell’s caliber would easily offset the pain, and would quickly ensure the Knicks are back in playoff contention next season.

Of course, the Jazz are unlikely to make a decision in the near future, as their attention is now focused on finding a new head coach before making plans for the upcoming season. But, one thing is for sure, the Knicks will be ready and waiting if Mitchell does hit the trade market.

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