The New York Knicks continue to be linked with Donovan Mitchell, as their search for a franchise star continues.
However, despite the slow-moving saga, it would appear that Leon Rose and William Wesley have begun to make ground on discussions – or at least, have begun to draw a line in the sand in terms of what they’re willing to give up in a deal.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, New York, and Utah have had multiple conversations surrounding a potential trade package, but neither side has been able to agree on what they would deem fair value.
“Utah and New York talked last week, and I think the Jazz got a sense of what New York might be willing to do. And, it’s not just one particular deal, I think there are options. And it’s like a sliding scale, the more players you put in a deal, the less draft picks you wanna give up. The more draft assets you put in a deal, you want to put less players in.
If you’re the Jazz, I want the players and the picks, because that’s where it starts…I do think the Knicks and Jazz will re-engage at some point, maybe it’s next week, maybe it’s in two weeks, maybe it’s in three weeks, but the Jazz are not necessarily going to move quickly…New York is motivated to get Donovan Mitchell, but I think they’re also motivated not to give up everything to get him,” Wojnarowski said during a July 18 episode of The Get Up.
Knicks are Keeping RJ Barrett Off the Table
While the Jazz are clearly looking to acquire draft picks, no deal for Mitchell can be done without New York matching salaries, thus meaning players have to be included in the deal.
However, according to an Eastern Conference executive, who spoke to Heavy.com under the condition of anonymity, RJ Barrett is unlikely to be part of any Mitchell trade due to the obstacle of his impending contract extension.
“R.J. is extension-eligible. That is a tough position. He might want max money or something close to it. He is not going to get it. It’s a tough negotiation for the Knicks with that because you have to commit to $30 million per year for a guy who is very good as a scorer and has potential but has not shown he is an elite player, really. There is interest in R.J. but no one wants to trade for him, then take on the job of negotiating with him. Let the Knicks do that,” The executive told Heavy.com’s, Sean Deveney.
Mitchell Could be New York’s Biggest Star
New York is one of the best sporting towns in the United States and has multiple prestigious teams to root for. However, while Basketball may not be the most popular sport in the country, NBA stars consistently rank among the highest sporting celebrities.
Perhaps that’s why, on a July 18 episode of ESPN’S First Take, Domonique Foxworth went on record to claim that Mitchell could fast become the biggest sporting star in New York, should a trade ever come to fruition.
“If he continues to play the way he has in Utah, and averages 25 points, gets to the playoffs and maybe even wins a playoff series. Basketball players are the biggest sports stars we have in America, football is the more popular sport, but basketball players are more popular. And in the most popular city in the country, if Donovan Mitchell comes into a city that is very hungry for a winner, remember how the city reacted to Julius Randle…I think he jumps over any football player (in popularity),” Foxworth said.
If Mitchell does find himself playing for the Knicks this season, and their new look roster finds a way to be successful, there’s every possible chance that he becomes one of the biggest sporting stars in New York, but they’ve got to get a deal over the line first.