The New York Knicks are in talks with the Utah Jazz about bringing on star guard Donovan Mitchell.
Ever since Mitchell became available in a trade, the Knicks have considered to be among the frontrunners, but a deal might not be as close as you might want as a fan.
Mitchell has a lot of roots in the New York area, so a trade makes a ton of sense for him, and the Knicks do have the assets to offer in a potential trade. So, why hasn’t a trade happened for Mitchell yet?
There are a variety of reasons about why that could be the case, and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports the two sides have indeed hit a wall.
Trade Talks Slow
While the Knicks might be the favorites in landing Mitchell, that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for them to do.
“As of right now, sources tell me that talks between the Jazz and the Knicks around a Donovan Mitchell trade have stalled out,” Charania said. “I’m told there hasn’t been contact between the two sides in roughly the last two weeks.”
Landing a talent like Mitchell doesn’t present itself every day, and acquiring him would mean the Knicks have to give up a lot of their future draft packs as well as some of the young core players like Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley.
Working in the favor of the Knicks is the fact that RJ Barrett is due for a contract extension, and a massive one at that, so the Jazz aren’t exactly thrilled with bringing in somebody who could command a salary like Mitchell’s, a contract they are working to get rid of.
However, with the talks being stalled, there’s no way of knowing when, or even if, a trade will happen. There’s still a lot of time left in the offseason, so a trade could still happen, just at a later date.
Mitchell Trade Could Lead to More
If the Knicks did land Mitchell, it could open the door to another blockbuster deal and that would be one that ships Julius Randle to the Lakers. This reporting comes from NBA insider Marc Stein, who also says Randle is the likely candidate to be shipped out of New York in the event they land Mitchell.
Stein argues the Knicks won’t be able to afford paying a bunch of players over $100 million, and bringing in Mitchell would add another player to that group.
“Keep an eye on them because the Knicks will have to look to get off salary, realistically,” Stein said. “They’re taking on [Donovan Mitchell’s] contract, they just made Brunson $100 million player, and they’re going to extend RJ Barrett. They can’t have four guys making $100 million realistically if you want any flexibility to improve the team beyond that. So that has led other teams to the belief that the Knicks would look into trading Julius Randle. And I’ve also been led to believe that Julius Randle is right on that line.”