When NBA players are thrown around in the rumor mill, expect the New York Knicks to be involved. They have the benefit of being one of the league’s biggest markets, and with so many players’ fondness of New York City and Madison Square Garden, it’s unsurprising that the Knicks are often considered a top landing spot for the NBA’s brightest stars.
Most recently, it was rumored that Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell could want to leave Utah in favor of playing in a bigger market. In turn, the Knicks were pegged as a potential landing spot. New York, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Miami Heat were three teams commonly thrown around as Mitchell’s top destinations.
However, according to a recent report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the idea of Mitchell joining the Knicks is likely nothing more than a fantasy.
“League sources regularly mention New York’s main offseason focus is to improve at the point guard position, but acquiring Utah’s other All-Star, Donovan Mitchell, remains highly unlikely,” Fischer revealed. “Even if Mitchell were to ultimately request a trade from the Jazz, he still has three full years committed on his contract before a player option in 2025-26.”
The Jazz star averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists this past season on 44.8% shooting from the field and 35.5% shooting from deep. He made his third-straight All-Star team and led the Jazz to a 49-33 record. However, they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks.
In addition to Fischer’s note about the likelihood of a Mitchell move, he also noted that New York’s hypothetical offer wouldn’t be as good as others from around the league.
Fischer Notes ‘Healthy Skepticism’ About Knicks Offer
Mitchell, being a three-time All-Star at just 25 years old, would undoubtedly generate a ton of interest around the league, should he request a trade. However, Fischer stated that the Knicks’ best package likely wouldn’t come close to other offers the Jazz would receive.
“Plus, there’s healthy skepticism around the NBA that New York’s best offer for Mitchell would trump other teams’ pursuits, such as a potential package from Miami that would theoretically center around Tyler Herro plus other salary and multiple first-round picks,” wrote Fischer.
The Heat, who were just eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals, could choose to make an aggressive pursuit for Mitchell. Their offer of Herro, salary-filler, and picks, as noted by Fischer, could be enticing enough to convince Utah to make a move.
Meanwhile, the Knicks would likely be offering pennies on the dollar, compared to that offer.
Potential Knicks Offer for Mitchell
The first name that jumps off the page in a potential Mitchell trade is RJ Barrett. At 21 years old, Barrett is by far the best trade asset New York has on their roster. However, with the Knicks hovering between contention and a complete rebuild, keeping him around should be their top priority. That means they would be unlikely to include him in a potential package for Mitchell.
That’s where things go downhill. New York could offer Utah the 11th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but if the Jazz want to remain competitive, that won’t do them much good. It could entice them if they choose to tear things down, but at that point, a team like the Portland Trail Blazers (who hole the seventh pick) could produce a better offer.
After Barrett and the 11th pick, the only other pieces New York has to offer would be Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, and a variety of young players. Again, if the Jazz want to remain competitive, any assortment of those assets would be a significant step down from Mitchell. And as mentioned by Fischer, those packages would almost certainly be trumped by Miami’s potential offer of Herro and picks.
So, the Mitchell-to-New York rumors have been squashed for now. However, if the Jazz guard decides to request a trade and names New York as his preferred destination, that could all change in a heartbeat.