It appears a trade of Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks is more than a pipe dream.
Just over 24 hours after word leaked out that the rebuilding Jazz were listening to offers on the three-time All-Star guard, The Athletic reported Wednesday night that the Knicks have engaged Utah in talks on Mitchell. The Jazz are still talking to other teams, but the Knicks have become the “focused destination” in recent days.
On paper, the deal is a no-brainer.
Mitchell is a difference-maker at only 25 years of age. He is a New Yorker who understands the pressure that comes with playing for the Knicks, and is repped by CAA, the agency Knicks president Leon Rose once ran. He even has a relationship with the newest Knick, Jalen Brunson, due to a common close friend, NBA free agent Eric Paschall.
But connections alone won’t get it done this time, not like the courtship of Brunson, the former Mavericks star who signed as a free agent. To land Mitchell, it will take a haul. That could mean franchise building block RJ Barrett and other young players, such as Quentin Grimes. It likely would mean several first-round draft picks.
As much as Rose and the Knicks may want Mitchell, the price could be exorbitant.
Remember, the Jazz recently received four first-round picks (three unprotected) and a pick swap from the Timberwolves for Rudy Gobert, a solid player but not as valued as Mitchell.
They also landed quality players Patrick Beverly, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, along with the 20th overall pick in this year’s draft, center Walker Kessler, in the blockbuster deal.
The Knicks own 11 first-round picks over the next seven years, and the Jazz are reportedly interested in accumulating draft picks.