Cavs Owner Hints at Future Move With Knicks Target Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell against Knicks

Getty Donte DiVincenzo #0 of the New York Knicks defends the net against Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is confident his star player, Donovan Mitchell, will not leave them for the New York Knicks.

“We’ve been talking to him, sure, for the last couple of years about extending this contract,” Gilbert told The Associated Press on Thursday, March 28. “We think he will extend. I think if you listen to him talk, he loves the city.

He loves the situation in Cleveland because our players are very young and we’re just kind of putting the core together that he’s clearly the biggest part of.”

The Cavaliers beat the Knicks in 2022 to acquire Mitchell from the Utah Jazz in a package consisting of forward Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, guard Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks (2025, 2027 and 2029) and two pick swaps (2026 and 2028).

How Knicks-Jazz Donovan Mitchell Talks Collapsed

During his introductory press conference in Cleveland, Mitchell admitted he was thinking of going home to New York.

“I thought for sure I was going back home, I’m not gonna lie about that,” Mitchell told reporters on September 14, 2022.

The Cavaliers found an opening to steal him from the Knicks when Leon Rose’s front office was still haggling over picks. The Jazz did not circle back to the Knicks once they began serious talks with the Cavaliers.

“New York had the assets Utah preferred and the sides seemed to be inching closer to a trade Sunday night and into Monday, but the Knicks balked on including Quentin Grimes in a trade with RJ Barrett to acquire Mitchell, sources said.

When guard Immanuel Quickley was proposed as a replacement for Grimes in the trade, Utah wanted three unprotected first-round draft picks as part of the package — but New York would only do a third first-round pick that included top-five protections, sources said,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on September 1, 2022, after the Jazz-Cavaliers trade was consummated.

All three players whom the Knicks dangled in those trade talks are no longer with them.

The Knicks flipped Barrett and Quickley into OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa.

Grimes, on the other hand, was the sweetener to unload Evan Fournier’s contract for veterans Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic.

Donovan Mitchell’s Dream Team Gave Him Nightmares

Mitchell, who thought a New York homecoming was a done deal at that time, still welcomed the Cavaliers trade after they kept their young core.

But what turned out to be a promising first season with the Cavaliers ended in a heartbreaking first-round loss to the Knicks, the team he grew up rooting for and wanted to play for.

The Knicks (44-28) and the Cavaliers (44-29) are again at each other’s throats in a neck-and-neck race for the third seed in the Eastern Conference with more than two weeks left before the playoffs.

Mitchell has one guaranteed season left in the five-year, $163 million contract he signed in 2020 with Utah. He is eligible to sign a four-year, $200 million extension this summer.

If he opts not to re-sign this summer, the rumors linking him to the Knicks, who are more experienced and prepared than the Cavaliers to challenge in the East will only continue to grow louder.

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