Utah’s Wild Trade Demands to Knicks Revealed

Leon Rose, New York Knicks

Getty Leon Rose, New York Knicks

One of the off-season’s most poorly kept secrets is how badly the New York Knicks want to acquire Donovan Mitchell, and how much the Utah Jazz are asking for in return.

Until now, all we’ve known is that Utah wants a haul for their star player, similar to what they received when they traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this summer. Of course, the Knicks have a plethora of draft picks and young talent to get a deal done, but the question is, how much would that trade deplete their roster?

Well, we finally have an answer, as, on August 20, Marc Berman of the New York Post revealed the Jazz’s initial asking price for Mitchell.

“According to multiple industry sources, the Knicks were turned off by Utah team president Danny Ainge’s initial demands, when he asked in July for a package of seven first-round picks and players. Talks died, but recently there has been renewed back-and-forth. The Knicks’ major concern, according to sources, is giving away too many future assets, which could leave them stuck in an area far below championship contender,” Berman wrote in his article.

We’re all aware of how negotiations work – start off high and then allow yourself room to be talked down, so you eventually agree on a deal that you believed was fair all along, but it does seem like the Jazz took things to the extreme when they asked for seven draft picks.

Knicks Prefer to Keep Quentin Grimes

After an impressive rookie season, Quentin Grimes has developed admirers throughout the Knicks franchise – from coaches and front office executives all the way down to the fan base, and there is hope he can continue developing to become a legitimate threat off the bench moving forward.

It’s that same upside that has got the Knicks fighting the urge to put Grimes into a potential trade package for Mitchell – as Berman reports the team would rather part ways with RJ Barrett if it meant Grimes remained on the roster.

“There is belief around the league Thibodeau would prefer to give up Barrett in a deal than shooting guard Quentin Grimes, who is coming off a solid rookie year, and a summer league in which he looked quicker and more sculpted. Grimes is a better defender and 3-point shooter than Barrett…Ainge is hot to acquire Grimes for his Jazz rebuilding plan,” Berman wrote in his August 20 article.

It will be interesting to see if Utah holds Barrett in higher regard than Grimes should a trade for Mitchell ever materialize between the two franchises.

Stephen A Smith Urges New York to Acquire Mitchell

Within the NBA media, there’s no bigger Knicks fan than Stephen A Smith, and in an August 18 episode of ESPN’s First Take, the veteran reporter urged New York to reach an agreement to acquire Mitchell before the start of the season.

“Donovan Mitchell is a star. I have shut up because I don’t want to do anything to get in the way of them getting that brother. I will say this to Danny Ainge, though – I appreciate the greatness of Danny Ainge as an executive, buy you ain’t getting no six draft picks, I got four or five…I don’t wanna give up RJ Barrett, but if I have to give up RJ Barrett, yes! I don’t want to, but if I gotta give him up to get Mitchell, him and four picks, and I’m doing it,” Smith said on August 18.

Regardless of what players end up heading to Salt Lake City as part of the deal, one thing is clear, the Knicks would be foolish to send six or seven draft picks to the Jazz – because it would hamstring them in their ability to make other trades down the line, and that could leave them in NBA purgatory.

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