Knicks Dream Target Could Be Traded Elsewhere: Report

Donovan Mitchell, New York Knicks

Getty Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz drives to the basket against Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat.

The New York Knicks had themselves yet another season to forget in 2021-22, going 37-45 and finishing in the 11 seed out in the Eastern Conference standings. Heading into 2022-23, however, it’s evident that the ball club is looking to avoid having a similarly disappointing outcome, and the front office is pulling out all the stops to make this desire into a reality.

From their decision to re-up with Mitchell Robinson to their free agency splash signing of Jalen Brunson Leon Rose and company have been working tirelessly to make this team’s roster more menacing and well-rounded than they were the year before and, by the look of things, this mission has already been accomplished.

That said, rumor has it the Knicks are all in on trying to make one more big move prior to the conclusion of the offseason, as their main goal is to trade for Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.

Per reports, the interest is mutually shared.

Confidence has been radiating from New York throughout the last few months, as they strongly believe they’re equipped to offer Utah the most enticing package for the young guard. However, recent rumblings suggest that the team could be facing more competition than they previously anticipated.

Utah sports radio host Spence Checketts told the Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen on an August 17 episode on ESPN 700 that he’s “close to 100%” sure that Donovan Mitchell will be traded at some point in the near future.

Now, while the Knicks are viewed as the most likely landing spot for the 3-time All-Star, according to his sources, there are several other teams that have piqued Utah’s interest in trade negotiations.

“I was told by a source that the Jazz actually have a couple of offers that I was told are from other teams outside of New York that they like an awful lot,“ Checketts said.

In a follow-up response, Larsen reiterated that while the Jazz may be fielding other offers from teams across the association, he believes it’s clear that both they and the Knicks “want this deal done.”

Knicks Willing To Include Budding Star

Though New York may have some reservations about who and what they’re willing to ultimately include in a potential deal for Mitchell, there are some assets that they appear more willing to part ways with, one of which is soon-to-be third-year big man Obi Toppin.

In an August 3 interview on ESPN 700, The Athletic’s Tony Jones mentioned that the Knicks’ front office is open to the idea of sending the 24-year-old to Salt Lake City in exchange for the guard.

“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,” Jones said.

Throughout his NBA tenure, Toppin has predominantly found himself serving as a low-usage reserve, boasting underwhelming averages of just 6.7 points and 3 rebounds a game.

However, when given increased opportunities on the hardwood the former 8 overall pick has shown glimpses of why he was so highly sought after when coming out of Dayton back in 2020, as he holds truly impressive averages of 20.3 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and just shy of a block on 57% shooting from the floor and 43.6% shooting from deep when found in the starting lineup.

In New York, Toppin has been relegated to being the backup power forward behind star Julius Randle.

If traded to Utah, however, he could finally become a consistent starter in the association which, based on the numbers, could help turn him into a legitimate star.

Talks Between Knicks and Jazz Have ‘Re-engaged’

After several months of dormancy, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones broke news in an August 16 report that talks between the Knicks and Jazz have recently been revived.

“After several weeks of no conversations, the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz recently re-engaged in trade talks centered on Donovan Mitchell, league sources tell The Athletic.

“The Knicks and Jazz had a fresh trade conversation within the past week about potential packages for Mitchell, according to sources,” Charania and Jones said.

Though they may be open to listening to offers for Mitchell from other organizations, based on this news, as Andy Larsen stated, it appears evident that Utah and New York both want to make a deal work.

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