Knicks ‘Willing’ to Trade Young Star for Donovan Mitchell: Report

Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks

Getty Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks looks up at the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks.

The New York Knicks seem to be pushing for one more splash this offseason as the rumor mill has constantly been churning with rumblings about how the franchise is interested in acquiring Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.

Easily the biggest name supposedly on the trade block not named Kevin Durant, the 25-year-old perennial All-Star has generated a ton of interest from franchises all across the association.

Despite said wide-spread intrigue and possible competition, however, it appears that the Knickerbockers are seen as the “most likely landing spot” for Mitchell should he be moved.

Of course, this should come as no shock to anyone as New York has a treasure trove of draft capital and young prospects at their disposal, both of which are the types of assets generally viewed as being highly valuable for franchises embarking on a full-fledged rebuild like Utah presumably will be.

Now, to this point in time the valuation of a fair deal is still being determined as both parties seem to be far apart when it comes to deciding on who should be viewed as expendable.

However, according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones, when discussing this topic with ESPN 700 in an August 3 interview he mentioned the fact that though the Knicks may have their restraints on parting ways with a few of their players, young power forward Obi Toppin is someone that they’d be willing to include in a Mitchell blockbuster.

“I can tell you that the Knicks are amenable to giving the Jazz Obi Toppin, who’s a really young and high-energy, high-ceiling power forward, but Quentin Grimes is a major sticking point at this point.”

Toppin Still Has Plenty of Upside

Since being drafted at 8 overall by the New York Knicks in the 2020 NBA Draft, Obi Toppin has been viewed as a player in possession of a ton of untapped potential.

Coming into the league fresh off of posting 20 points and 7.5 rebounds a game on 63% shooting from the field and 39% shooting from deep while being named the Naismith College Player of the Year for his efforts, expectations were rather high for someone of his status.

Unfortunately for him, however, throughout his two-year tenure at the professional level Toppin has predominantly been used as a backup to star power forward Julius Randle, averaging just over 14 minutes a night during this span.

Still, even with his limited usage thus far, when given increased opportunities the big man has managed to absolutely shine.

This past season, Toppin showed glimpses of just how effective he can be when given a bigger role, as he posted sensational averages of 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and just shy of a block on 57% shooting from the floor and 43% shooting from deep in the 10 games he started.

With New York’s commitment to Randle for the next several years, it does not appear likely that the former lottery pick will be given these types of opportunities all that often should he remain with the franchise.

That said, if traded to Utah in a Donovan Mitchell deal, it’s very likely that Obi Toppin would be utilized in this type of capacity far more often, which could only help his development as an NBA player.

Knicks Draw Line In The Sand At Derrick Rose, Quentin Grimes

As for the players New York seems to be unwilling to part ways with, In an August 5 episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Tony Jones once again was found discussing the highly popular “Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks” hypothetical discussion and revealed that they have some trepidation about giving up two players in particular.

“The Knicks don’t want to unload Derrick Rose. He’s long been a favorite of Tom Thibodeau. I know the Knicks want to hang onto him and Grimes. Those guys are priorities,” Jones said during the episode.

Throughout both of their tenures with the club, Rose has proven himself to be a true leader for New York as well as a highly impactful running mate for Julius Randle while Grimes is slowly but surely becoming a foundational piece for the future thanks to his strong scoring abilities.

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