For much of the offseason, it was expected that former Utah Jazz guard would land with the New York Knicks, but he ended up being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Knicks had a huge offer they could make to the Jazz, but they were hesitant on meeting their large demands, and that’s what led to the Cavs trade.
Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik said the Cavs came forward with the best offer, so it’s clear something went wrong with the talks between them and the Knicks.
“It was the best offer,” Zanik said on the Cavs offer. “I think for them, they saw an opportunity they had in their team to open up a window. With Donovan and the young group, I think they’re gonna be very good. To get a good return, you have to give up something good as well. They certainly gave up a lot. Meaningful for them, and it was a meaningful trade that we liked as well.”
At his introductory press conference, Mitchell admitted that he came close to being traded to the Knicks, and he thought it was going to happen.
Mitchell Gets Candid on Knicks Trade
Mitchell has a lot of ties to the New York area, so coming to the Knicks would’ve been a homecoming for him, but that’s not how things played out.
At his introductory press conference, Mitchell gave a candid response about how he thought the Knicks were in his cards.
“I thought for sure I was going back home, I’m not gonna lie about that,” he said. “But when I found out where I was headed, who I was playing for, the group, the team, the coaching staff, I couldn’t be more happy.”
Building off that, in an interview with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, he revealed that he came “very close” to being a Knick.
Windhorst asked him directly how close he came to suiting up for the Knicks next season.
“Very close,” he said. “I won’t say more than that, but I know a little bit more than most. Definitely very close. You know, it didn’t happen.”
In the end, the Knicks were able to hang onto their draft picks and young talent, so it’s not all bad. Jalen Brunson is still a big signing and gives the team a lot to be excited about.
Knicks Moving Forward
After having the Donovan Mitchell trade saga dominate much of the summer, it’s nice for that to finally be behind them. Missing out on him is a tough pill to swallow, but it’s not the end of the world for the franchise.
Landing him would’ve been the first big star since Carmelo Anthony, but now the Knicks will have to rely on their youngsters to step up to get back to the playoffs. Julius Randle will need to have a bounceback year, RJ Barrett has to take an All-Star leap, and Brunson has to continue his playoff form for the Knicks to sniff the postseason again.
There are a lot of things that have to go right for the Knicks in the next year, so fans will have to keep their fingers crossed.