It looks like a Donovan Mitchell trade to the Knicks is more than a pipe dream.
Just over 24 hours after reports leaked that the rebuilding Jazz were listening to offers from the three-time All-Star guard, The Athletic reported Wednesday night that the Knicks have entered into talks with Utah over Mitchell. The Jazz are still talking to other teams, but the Knicks have become the “target destination” in recent days.
On paper, the deal is a no-brainer.
Mitchell is a difference maker at just 25 years old. He’s a New Yorker who understands the pressure that comes with playing for the Knicks and is replaced by CAA, Knicks agency president Leon Rose. He even has a relationship with the newest Knick, Jalen Brunson, due to a mutual close friend, NBA free agent Eric Paschall.
But relationships alone won’t be enough this time, not like the courtship of Brunson, the former Mavericks star who signed as a free agent. Landing Mitchell will require loot. It could mean franchise building block RJ Barrett and other young players, such as Quentin Grimes. That would likely mean multiple first-round picks.
Even if Rose and the Knicks want Mitchell, the price could be exorbitant.
Remember, the Jazz recently received four first-round picks (three unprotected) and a trade pick from the Timberwolves for Rudy Gobert, a solid but not as well-regarded player as Mitchell.
They also landed quality players Patrick Beverly, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, as well as the 20th pick in this year’s draft, center Walker Kessler, as part of the blockbuster deal.
The Knicks have 11 first-round picks over the next seven years, and the Jazz are reportedly interested in racking up draft picks.