A couple of weeks after prying Jalen Brunson away from the Dallas Mavericks, the Knicks may be prepared to find him an All-Star running mate.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Knicks and Jazz have started to discuss the framework of a deal that would send Donovan Mitchell to the Big Apple.
The Jazz are having conversations with multiple teams on a Mitchell deal, but the Knicks have emerged as the focused destination over the past several days, sources said. Both sides have discussed a deal framework in the past 24 hours, those sources said.
Mitchell is fresh off his third-straight All-Star season, averaging 25.9 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.2 rebounds. He’s helped lead the Jazz to at least 49 wins in three of his first five seasons, emerging as easily one of the best young guards in the NBA.
The Knicks have long been rumored as a potential landing spot for Mitchell. Not only have people believed the growing superstar would eventually seek out a larger market, but also Mitchell’s ties to New York City and the northeast run strong.
Utah has played coy when it comes to whether or not they are open to moving the franchise cornerstone. After the departure of three-time DPOY Rudy Gobert this summer, the organization said there is “no intent” to send Mitchell elsewhere. Instead, the front office seemed interested in using their newfound assets from the Gobert trade to rework the roster around Mitchell. To little surprise, though, it appears that may have been a leverage play. Danny Ainge has been known to pull off some massive overhauls in the past, and moving both Mitchell and Gobert in the same summer would be one of his biggest.
Charania reported the main goal for the Jazz would be to add draft capital and young talent on rookie-scale deals. The Knicks could certainly check that box with young talents like Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, and R.J. Barrett on the roster. Not to mention, they stockpiled picks during this season’s NBA Draft, and they should have more than enough future firsts to entice Utah.
The question now is whether or not the Knicks are ready to depart with that much of their future flexibility to add Mitchell – who is just about to enter his second season of a five-year, $163 million deal. Considering how star-hungry the franchise has been ever since Carmelo Anthony left town, I could easily see the answer being “HECK YES!” But Utah is also likely asking for more than they received in the Rudy Gobert trade … which would be an uncomfortable amount of assets to give up no matter what.
The last thing I’ll say for now is I don’t like this news one bit for the Chicago Bulls. The Eastern Conference improved in a number of ways this summer, and seeing the Knicks finally add a superstar-caliber talent to their roster would be a HUGE bummer. Who knows how successful the Knicks would perform right off the bat, but a Mitchell addition would undoubtedly add more competition for the Bulls to worry about. Ugh.
Check out Charania’s full report below: