It’s going to be a busy offseason for the New York Knicks as they have some retooling to do if they want to make it back to the playoffs.
After making the playoffs and even earning home court advantage in the first round, this latest season ended with New York missing the postseason entirely and now they have some questions to ask.
One thing that has constantly been listed as an option for the team is acquiring a young star in Donovan Mitchell. The connections to the area run log for Mitchell, so him coming to New York is something that could reasonably happen.
His latest first round exit has led many to wonder if he’ll ask out of Utah through a trade. He still has several years left on his contract, but we’ve also just seen Philadelphia trade Ben Simmons who was in a similar situation. If the return is just right, we could see Utah break up their roster and go for a rebuild.
For Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, he believes the Knicks have the right group of players who could entice Utah to give up their star.
Knicks Land Mitchell
Something that Knicks have that a lot of other teams don’t is a young core of players that could potentially be targeted by teams around the league.
RJ Barrett looks to be a star in the making, but the team also consists of Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Miles McBride, Mitchell Robinson and Cam Reddish. To acquire somebody like Mitchell, Bailey believes the Knicks would have to part with some of this core, and he proposes it be Barrett and Quickley. Here’s the trade he proposes:
- Knicks Send: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier and a 2024 first-round pick
- Knicks Receive: Donovan Mitchell
He argues this could actually make sense for the Jazz because he says the biggest issue for the Jazz is the lack of defense around Gobert.
By acquiring Barrett from the Knicks, the Jazz could potentially improve their perimeter defense and even get some good pieces in return too.
“This hypothetical deal doesn’t necessarily solve that issue overnight (Quickley is another small guard, and Fournier is no stopper), but Barrett’s size, athleticism and tutelage under Tom Thibodeau should make him a better option on defense,” Bailey writes. “As for Quickley and Fournier, they can both space the floor, which will be vitally important if Utah is built around Gobert and his dives to the rim. Fournier has the size to at least be switchable on defense (in theory). And Quickley has fourth- or fifth-starter potential.”
Why The Trade Won’t Happen
Even though this could be a trade that makes a lot of sense for both sides, there are some major hurdles that need to be crossed.
The biggest one is Mitchell’s contract and the fact that he’s under contract through the 2025-26 season if he picks up a player option. The Jazz don’t have any real incentives to give up on their star.
Then again, the Jazz might see the current core isn’t getting them anywhere so it might be time to mix it up.