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Even though Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell seems keen to join the New York Knicks, Utah’s high asking price may prevent that from happening.
Donovan Mitchell has dominated potential trade talks all summer, and with the jets finally cooling on Kevin Durant trade talks, Mitchell is the summer blockbuster New York wants to see.
Knicks fans have a pretty good feeling that Mitchell could be headed their way, especially with the extensive ties Mitchell shares with his hometown. But in order for that to happen, the Jazz would need to lower their asking price.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported what the Knicks offered the Jazz for Donovan Mitchell: Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, cash, two unprotected first-round picks and three protected for a total of five. The Jazz declined.
According to The New York Post, a source revealed that Jazz president Danny Ainge is after four unprotected first-round picks instead of just two. That’s a steep price for the Knicks to pay to see Donovan Mitchell join their ranks.
Jazz want the Knicks to give four first-rounders for Donovan Mitchell
Insider reporting indicates that the holdup is less about the players involved and more about the costly picks. Apparently Ainge is interested in shooter Quentin Grimes, and the Knicks want to pair Jalen Brunson with Mitchell.
But if the Knicks trade away all their first-rounders, that ruins any chance the team has of using Brunson and Mitchell to attract another superstar.
The Post’s Marc Berman delved into what would and wouldn’t work for the Knicks, thus the construction of their specific proposal. The Knicks would prefer to trade Toppin over Julius Randle, who finished second-team All-NBA.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau would also consider letting go of Grimes in favor of having R.J. Barrett complement Brunson and Mitchell.
All that being said, the finagling between the ideal player combination comes later. Now, it’s matter of whether or not the Knicks are willing to sell their future for Mitchell or if the Jazz are willing to come down from their sky-high ask.