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REPORT: The Utah Jazz and New York Knicks are working on a trade centered around Donovan Mitchell

The Knicks want to win now, but it remains to be seen whether or not Mitchell would be the final piece that puts them over the top
REPORT: The Utah Jazz and New York Knicks are working on a trade centered around Donovan Mitchell

Jazz and Knicks are working towards a trade centered around Mitchell.

Much of the focus throughout the 2022 NBA offseason has been centered around the seemingly inevitable trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving off the Brooklyn Nets. However, there could also be a serious exodus of talent out in the Western Conference on the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz already sent Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a massive package. Now they are looking to unload their star point guard Donovan Mitchell, after initially looking to build the team around him. There appears to have been a change of heart in the front office, and now reports are coming out that the Jazz and New York Knicks are working towards a trade centered around Mitchell.

Knicks would have to give up a ton to land Mitchell

The Gobert trade has set an incredibly high bar for trades this offseason. The Jazz somehow managed to land five first-round picks, plus three more players, in exchange for just Gobert. That will set an incredibly high bar for the Knicks or any team for that matter when it comes to trading for Mitchell.

When looking at the Knicks roster, they have a couple of young players that could be of interest to the Jazz as they presumably set themselves up for a rebuild. From the sounds of it, RJ Barrett would almost certainly have to be going to Utah unless the Knicks want to throw in an absurd amount of first-round picks to push this deal through. It goes without saying that they will almost certainly need four or five first-rounders, regardless of which players are involved.

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Barrett seems like a good starting spot, and with guys like Immanuel Quickly, Cam Reddish, and Obi Toppin, the Jazz could probably have their pick of any of New York’s inconsistent young talents. Salaries will also need to be matched, making it likely that Evan Fournier or Derrick Rose would have to be included as part of this deal. The most likely package involves Barrett, Fournier, one of Quickly, Reddish, or Toppin, and five or six first-rounders, which would be quite a haul for the Jazz.

Would the Knicks benefit from trading for Mitchell?

The fact that the Knicks are even sniffing around Mitchell here shows they are intent on building a contender now. A poor 2021-22 season erased much of the goodwill built the season before when they went on an unexpected playoff run, but there are still a lot of good pieces on their roster. Mitchell could be the guy who puts them over the top.

The goal for New York will be finding the balance between getting Mitchell without giving up too much of their team. Losing Barrett and Fournier would hurt, but if you want to try to win now, giving up the first-rounders is the price the Knicks will have to pay.

It’s also worth noting the Knicks are in a position to unload some of the players on their roster. If they get rid of Barrett and Fournier here, they could easily start Mitchell and Rose in their backcourt moving forward. That would allow Toppin (assuming he isn’t involved in the trade) to carve out a starting role for himself, with Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson rounding out the starting five.

Whether that starting five would make a contender in a crowded Eastern Conference remains to be seen. Mitchell is a dynamite scorer, but Randle will have to bounce back in a big way after a rough season. Having Mitchell would probably help, but it doesn’t gloss over all the other issues on this roster.

Making a push for Mitchell makes sense for the Knicks if they intend on winning now, and while they have a lot of talent on their roster, it simply may not be enough for them to stand out in the East. New York is committed to winning with their current core, but they would be taking a considerable risk mortgaging their future in the hopes that Mitchell can solve all their problems.

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