Knicks Had ‘Big Reason’ For Wanting Donovan Mitchell: Report

donovan mitchell

Getty The Knicks lost the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes.

The New York Knicks lost the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and to make matters even worse he was traded to a direct competitor.

Mitchell will jump start the Cavs’ rebuild, and the Knicks will have to instead shift focus to acquiring another star or continue to play if slow and steady with the continued development of their young core.

In the aftermath of the trade, more details are coming out about the trade, and the latest one reveals a big reason for wanting the deal to get done. Outside of his on-court talents, the Knicks believed Mitchell would’ve been essential to bringing even more stars to New York, according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones.

Mitchell Attracts Stars

It’s no secret that star players like to team up with fellow stars, so acquiring Mitchell would’ve been an attractive option to free agents.

The Knicks missed out on that, and now they have to sell free agents on the idea of a trio of Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett in the absence of Mitchell.

“He seems to be friends with the entire league,” wrote Jones. “One of the big reasons New York wanted to trade for him, beyond his on-court ability, was the belief that he could attract another star to play with him. Mitchell is engaging and easy to get along with.”

There’s no way of telling now, but perhaps names like LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant wouldn’t have skipped over joining the Knicks if there was a star like Mitchell around on the roster.

Players have always gravitated toward playing with other blockbuster talent, and it’s clear the Knicks can’t rely on their franchise’s name power and Madison Square Garden alone to attract star players.

Of course, landing Mitchell would’ve had to be done through a trade, so it wasn’t entirely up to the Knicks in the deal. Perhaps things will be different when Mitchell hits free agency in three years.

Knicks Couldn’t Get Help

Since New York wasn’t open to giving up all of their draft picks and young players in the deal, they could’ve brought in a third team to help soften the blow for them. The Los Angeles Lakers were often floated as a possibility, but that never happened according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Speaking on “The Hoop Collective Podcast,” Windhorst reveals the Lakers were never involved in the talks.

“…there were three-team constructions between the Jazz and Knicks for Donovan Mitchell,” Windhorst said, as transcribed by Bleacher Report. “where players would go to a third team, but obviously they didn’t do a deal, but the Lakers were never directly involved with that.”

The Lakers have long been trying to get off the Russell Westbrook contract, but him being a former MVP on an expiring contract hasn’t been enough to make a difference as of yet.

With all of the images of Patrick Beverley and Westbrook going around laughing together, it looks like the Lakers might be resigned to the fact that he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming season.

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