The New York Knicks are being looked at as a team that is planning on making a major move in the offseason.
After making the playoffs last year, the team signed Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier in an effort to make an even deeper run, but nothing ever came into fruition and it’s looking like New York will miss the play-in tournament.
A name they’ve frequently been linked to is Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell has many ties to New York outside of simply growing up in the area. His father works with the New York Mets and Mitchell was represented by now-Knicks vice president Leon Rose’s agency CAA.
According to Newsday’s Steve Popper, it’s an “open secret” around the league that the Knicks have their eyes on Mitchell, and they could make something happen.
Mitchell to New York
On paper, the Utah Jazz appear to have a much stronger roster than the Knicks currently do, and that’s backed up with the fact they always finish within the upper echelon of the Western Conference. However, things could be flipped if Mitchell is paired with the Knicks.
Despite being an open secret the Knicks want him, what would it take for the Jazz to even deal him?
“But just as the Nets went all in, imagine what it would take to entice the Jazz to deal Mitchell when he is under contract for three more seasons,” Popper wrote. “It would mean stripping the Knicks of just about every useful asset they have right now. Start with RJ Barrett and start adding young pieces and draft picks and then wonder what they would be left with to build around Mitchell. Would it even be close to what he already has in Utah”
The Jazz would need a king’s ransom in exchange for their young star, something the Knicks could match, but then they’d be left with an empty cabinet of assets to build around Mitchell. Landing a star is important, but not if that’s the only piece you have.
Would the Knicks Do It?
Landing a talent like Mitchell would be massive for New York, a team that has had known problems in attracting marquee talent.
If they were able to pair him with Randle, and if Randle would be able to recapture his All-NBA production from a season before, then the duo would be pretty good.
Emptying out all of the assets the team has might be a bit much, but if they were somehow able to get the right pieces around this pairing, they could easily be a playoff team again, even in the now-deep Eastern Conference. The addition of the play-in tournament has made it easier to compete for a playoff spot than ever, and it’s hard to imagine a team led by even Mitchell alone missing that chance.
Of course, a lot of things can happen and there’s a chance things wouldn’t work out. At the very least, having Mitchell in New York would create a huge buzz around the Knicks.