The New York Knicks missed out on Donovan Mitchell after having all signs pointing towards a deal getting done.
Mitchell ended up being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a package that includes Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, guard Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps. It’s a big haul, and it’s also something the Knicks could’ve potentially matched if they wanted to get there.
Previous offers weren’t necessarily bad, and one of the most recent ones that was revealed from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones consisted of plenty of picks.
“New York made a recent offer of Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, additional salary and two unprotected first-round draft picks (five total), league sources tell me and The Athletic’s Tony Jones,” Charania wrote August 22. “The Jazz’s asking price has been more significant than that.”
On September 1 after the deal was done, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out a deal that was offered by the Knicks, and it’s arguably better than the one the Jazz ultimately accepted from Cleveland.
Knicks Offer 2 Starters
According to Wojnarowski, the Knicks offer a package that consisted of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, both of whom signed extensions with New York this summer, Obi toppin and three unprotected first-round picks.
The Jazz deemed that offer to not be good enough, and it has led some fans to wonder if the team was even engaging with the Knicks in good faith.
Mitchell and Barrett both started for the Knicks last season, and both could start for many teams across the league, especially the Jazz in the absence of Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, but the Jazz weren’t happy with the offer.
NBA Twitter superstar Rob Perez, better known as WorldWideWob, tweeted out his shock about the deal.
“I’m steaming so hard we offered this,” he said. That is the Knicks’ ENTIRE future. Hope this was just a leverage offer not to be followed through with, but if true: [Utah Jazz GM Danny Ainge] saved us from ourselves.”
Creating a Big 3, or a Mid 3 as some fans would call it, in New York would be an exciting prospect, but not if it meant giving up everything. Mitchell hasn’t gotten the Jazz to the Finals, and it’s unlikely he’d do so in New York without the necessary talent around him.
Now the only question that’s left is where do the Knicks go from here?
The Knicks now have a simple way forward and it’s as simple as developing their young core.
There are still players who could be traded, but with no clear target on the market, moving somebody like Evan Fournier or Julius Randle doesn’t make a ton of sense.
The Mitchell trade will also hurt the Lakers’ chances of moving Russell Westbrook unless the Knicks are open to taking him on and seeing what happens there. With Jalen Brunson now on the team, that type of trade doesn’t make a ton of sense unless the Knicks plan on making a big free agency push next offseason.