Knicks Urged to Give Up on Former Top 10 Pick & Pursue All-Star

obi toppin

Getty Obi Toppin.

The New York Knicks have made one of the biggest moves of the offseason so far by stealing away Jalen Brunson from the Dallas Mavericks, but they’ll need to do more than that if they want to be successful in the postseason.

Finding somebody to man the point guard position for the next four years is a big deal, but the team could still use another star and that’s where Donovan Mitchell comes in.

After trading away Rudy Gobert, there was an expectation that the Jazz would be considering trades for Mitchell, but they balked at those so far. However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said the team is “showing a willingness” to at least listen to offers.

Mitchell has been frequently linked to the Knicks through a trade, and this now might be the team’s best opportunity to give the hometown star his homecoming.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley floats a trade package that would land Mitchell, but it would require giving up fan-favorite Obi Toppin and a few other pieces.

Big Price to Pay

After seeing what Utah got back in return for Rudy Gobert, they might be thinking they could get a similar, if not better, haul in return for Mitchell.

If the Knicks want to land him, they’ll need to give up a bunch of assets, but they do have plenty of young talent that could interest Utah. Here’s a look at the trade Buckley proposes:

  • Knicks Send: Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier and two future first-round picks
  • Jazz Send: Donovan Mitchell

Toppin, Quickley and Fournier are all productive pieces of the Knicks, and they’d miss every one of them, but if that’s the price to pay for Mitchell then the Knicks might feel better about going for it.

Fournier signed a four-year, $73 million deal last offseason, so it’d be nice to get out of that contract considering they just signed Brunson to a $100+ million deal and Julius Randle’s extension kicks in for next season.

A lineup with Mitchell could look something like this:

  • PG: Jalen Brunson
  • SG: Donovan Mitchell
  • SF: RJ Barrett
  • PF: Julius Randle
  • C: Mitchell Robinson

On paper, it looks like a playoff team, especially if Randle can find his All-NBA form again, but just because a team looks good in the offseason doesn’t necessarily mean it translates to success.

Can They Do It?

It seems like if there was a team out there who could pull off a trade for Mitchell, it’d be the Knicks. They’ve been linked to him for a long time and he has strong ties to the area with his father working within the New York Mets organization.

However, a team to keep an eye on would be the Miami Heat, a franchise that was also linked to landing Kevin Durant in a potential blockbuster deal. The Heat are looking to maximize their championship window with Jimmy Butler, and landing a player of Mitchell’s stature would go a long way towards making that a reality.

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