No matter what is happening around the NBA, you can’t escape the rumors linking the New York Knicks with a trade for Donovan Mitchell.
Ever since the Knicks finalized the addition of Jalen Brunson in free agency, their focus has been on acquiring Mitchell from the Utah Jazz, as they look to create a new backcourt pairing that they believe can lead them back to the playoffs.
When speaking on an August 17 episode of Jalen & Jacoby, Jalen Rose noted how he believes Mitchell with be wearing a Knicks uniform by the time the new season gets underway in October.
“If I’m the Knicks, I’m trying to get it done, because you’re trying to head into training camp with Jalen Brunson, with Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and with Spida Mitchell. So, I believe this is going to get done before the start of the season, and my nephew will actually see them win a game,” Jalen Rose said.
Nevertheless, the Jazz are under no pressure to accept a low-ball offer or to agree on a trade before the season begins. It’s clear that Utah has set their asking price for Mitchell, and will be patient until a team is willing to meet their demands – so the question is, how far are the Knicks willing to go in order to land their top target?
Utah and New York Re-Engage in Trade Discussions
According to an August 16 report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones, the Knicks and Jazz have re-entered into negotiations about a potential deal for Mitchell.
“The Knicks and Jazz had a fresh trade conversation within the past week about potential packages for Mitchell, according to sources…Throughout trade talks, the Knicks have made their interest in Mitchell abundantly clear, one source with knowledge of the situation said. The Knicks and Jazz seriously discussed a Mitchell trade during the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League in mid-July, but talks stalled out and led to nearly a month of inactivity between the sides. Now, with training camp just over one month away, the sides have re-ignited talks. Hurdles toward a deal remain,” Charania and Jones reported.
Mitchell ended last season with averages of 25.9 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 53.3% from two and 35.5% from three, making it abundantly clear why the Knicks are so infatuated with making Mitchell the first star acquisition of the Leon Rose era.
Knicks Willing to Part With Obi Toppin
There’s no question that Utah’s primary objective in any Mitchell deal is to acquire a haul of draft picks – similar to what they did when trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, both Utah and New York will need to make the money work, and that means sending players to Salt Lake City as part of any potential trade. Of course, the Jazz, who are entering a rebuild, would prefer young talent with some serious upside – something which the Knicks can provide in bunches.
According to an August 3 interview on ESPN 700 with Tony Jones, the Knicks are willing to include New York native, Obi Toppin, in any potential deal – and considering Toppin’s growth since entering the NBA, that could be an ideal addition for the Jazz.
“I can tell you that the Knicks are amenable to giving the Jazz Obi Toppin, who’s a really young and high-energy, high-ceiling power forward, but Quentin Grimes is a major sticking point at this point,” Jones said.
Still, Toppin’s contract isn’t of significant monetary value by NBA standards, meaning the Knicks would need to add further players into a trade package – so it will be interesting to see what a final deal looks like – if the Knicks and Jazz ever agree to a trade, that is.
To keep our current crop of youngsters, I’d give up 7 first keeping only 1 of our own 8 along with fournier, Reddish and someone else to make the salaries balance.