What could the Knicks offer the Jazz in a potential trade por Donovan Mitchell?
Though it seems crazy that they would be willing to let two of their stars go in the same offseason, the Jazz may actually be in line to get what they need out of the Knicks.
The Utah Jazz have a genuine star and the New York Knicks seem to be genuinely interested, but what could a deal between the two franchises look like? Let’s take a look.
The Jazz and Knicks exemplify what has been a busy offseason
This year’s NBA offseason is proving to be an increasingly unpredictable one, as movement in the market continues to get more intense. In the latest episode the Utah Jazz are now apparently willing to listen to offers for their star and it seems like the Knicks might just be in line to give them what they want. Indeed, since reports first indicated that the Jazz “are showing a willingness to listen on possible trade scenarios” for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, the Knicks have been heavily linked as a potential landing spot. Yet, what makes New York the front runners?
To begin with, it should be said that there are several factors at work here that make a deal between the two teams highly likely. Firstly, there is the fact that Mitchell is the son of a Mets executive and understandably a New York Native. Madison Square Garden would likely be something of a homecoming for the young star. Then we have to consider the idea that with Rudy Gobert’s trade, the Jazz are clearly looking to rebuild. To add further spice to the mix, we know that the Knicks were present for Mitchell’s playoff games during the last campaign, so the interest is well documented. Naturally, this brings us to what could potentially be offered.
What could the Knicks offer the Jazz for Donovan Mitchell?
First and foremost, it’s highly likely that young prospects would have to be included in any trade package for Mitchell. Given that the Knicks don’t have any 2022 All-Stars of their own to send in the opposite direction, they will likely look to include several of their young and clearly talented players to match salaries. To be clear, Mitchell is in line to earn more than $30 million this coming season, which is to say that the Knicks would have to convince Utah that they eligible players they haver are worth it. As for those aforementioned players, take a look below to see who they are and how much they make:
|Julius Randle||$23.8 million|
|Evan Fournier||$18.0 million|
|Derrick Rose||$14.5 million|
|RJ Barrett||$10.9 million|
|Cam Reddish||$5.9 million|
|Obi Toppin||$5.4 million|
|Immanuel Quickley||$2.3 million|
|Quentin Grimes||$2.3 million|
|Miles McBride||$1.6 million|
Other factors to consider in a Jazz - Knicks deal
If you’re wondering about higher caliber players like recently-signed Jalen Brunson, Isaiah Hartenstein, Mitchell Robinson and Jericho Sims, the problem is they simply aren’t eligible. On the other hand, it’s highly likely and logical, that the Knicks would prefer to have them playing alongside Mitchell if and when he arrives. Barring interest in the above-mentioned Randle, it’s almost certain that any deal would begin with Fournier, whose salary being as it is would go a long way towards balancing the books.
This is where things get tricky, as Barret would most probably be the next name up. One has to imagine that the Knicks will be hesitant to let him go, having seen the young guard get better and better in each of his three seasons. Indeed, Barrett averaged a career-best 20 points per game last season. Aside from Barrett, we’ve got young guns such as Quickley, Reddish and Toppin. In theory, a package that includes those young players could just do the trick as Grimes, McBride, Quickley and Reddish are all perimeter players, something Utah could use. Ultimately, it will come down to Utah’s level of interest.
What if the Knicks offer Draft capital?
As we have seen in an increasing number of cases, Draft capital can often get a deal over the line when there isn’t an equivalent star to be exchanged in a trade. This is where the Knicks may actually have an a strong bargaining chip in any potential deal. Looking across the next few years, New York has actually managed to accumulate a decent number of picks. The franchise is currently owed a first-round pick from the Mavericks, several first-round picks from the Pistons, a first-round pick from the Wizards and a 2025 first-round pick from the Bucks. With all of that in mind, the Knicks could actually let go of multiple first round picks and still have some to spare.
Were such a situation to pan out, it would essentially mean that the Jazz would be trading places - not just players - with the Knicks. On the one hand, having to lose a pair of major stars - remember Gobert just left - in one offseason would be a blow, on the other they would immediately have a number of first round picks, with which to work with in the near future. At this point nothing is certain, but with Mitchell under contract until at least the 2024-25 season and a player option worth $37.1 million for the 2025-26 season, one thing is clear: a player under team control for a minimum of three seasons, isn’t a bad investment.