Knicks and Jazz engage in trade talks with Donovan Mitchell
The Jazz and Knicks have started talks about a potential trade to send three-time NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell to New York, sources say Athleticism.
The Jazz have conversations with multiple teams about a deal with Mitchell, but the Knicks have become the targeted destination over the past few days, sources said. The two sides have been discussing a framework agreement for the past 24 hours, the sources said.
The Knicks have eight future first-round picks — four of their own and four acquired through trades — to use in a package. New York has also stockpiled young players, like Quentin Grimes, who would be of interest to Utah, sources said.
The Jazz, who saw their NBA title window close last season with a six-game loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs, are focused on getting draft picks and young players who are on rookie-scale offers. Sources say the Jazz have made all of their veteran players available in trade talks, and there are currently no untouchable players on the roster. Guards Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and Jordan Clarkson have been pursued by teams across the league in recent weeks.
After Rudy Gobert’s blockbuster trade to Minnesota that saw four-round players sent to Utah, the Jazz have as many as 11 first-round draft picks through 2029 and look set to acquire even more. in a deal with Mitchell to kick off a full rebuild into a new era under CEO Danny Ainge and head coach Will Hardy. It looks like interim compensation is a goal in a potential deal.
“You’re over the fee, no draft pick, and our team loses in the first round,” Ainge said Saturday. “It wasn’t fun for us. We want it to be fun for our fans and our players, but we just haven’t had much flexibility to do anything lately.
Miami has also expressed interest in Mitchell but only has two first-round players available for trade and a potential centerpiece in Tyler Herro, who is eligible for the extension. Because of this, the Heat would likely need to sign a third team in a trade to provide the Jazz with the draft compensation needed for them to feel motivated enough to trade Mitchell.
Mainly because of the nightly draft moves, the Knicks don’t have that problem. They have the draft capital and young players needed to engage the Jazz conversation in trade. New York is motivated to give the Jazz a meaningful package. But the Knicks are wary, sources say, of giving the proverbial store to the Jazz. They’d like to come out of a potential deal with the front-end talent and depth to be a factor in the Eastern Conference.
For the Knicks, there is incredible interest in a talent and leader like Mitchell, who has the qualities to become the face of the franchise and a star in New York. Mitchell was born in Elmsford, NY, and often spends his off-season time in the New York area. Three of the NBA’s brightest stars have been speculated as targets for the Knicks since president of basketball operations Leon Rose took over in March 2020: Mitchell, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Phoenix’s Devin Booker.
Now the Knicks are ready to seriously pursue Mitchell. He would be the most recognizable local star the Knicks have had since Stephon Marbury, who grew up in Coney Island, came from a long family line of star players and won a town title at Madison Square Garden in high school.
Utah had long expressed a desire to keep Mitchell to try to build around him. Utah’s bar to trade Mitchell is high and, according to league sources, indeed, the asking price in initial talks was substantial.
(Photo by Donovan Mitchell: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)