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THE BRAND NEW York Knicks and Utah Jazz haven’t found much success in trade discussions centered around Donovan Mitchell, nonetheless it appears Danny Ainge does not have any shortage of options in trade for the veteran.
The Jazz team president “is telling confidants two other teams have made offers he likes,” in accordance with Marc Berman of the NY Post.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones reported Monday that the Knicks’ latest offer to the Jazz for Mitchell included Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, additional salary and five total first-round draft picks (two unprotected).
Last month, Ainge and the Jazz requested a package including seven first-round picks in trade for Mitchell, per NBA insider Marc Stein. NY has eight tradable first-round selections.
However, Berman reported Saturday that the Knicks were “switched off” by Ainge’s initial demands and so are worried about “offering way too many future assets” in concern with not having the ability to field a contending team.
The Jazz began hearing offers on Mitchell soon after trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for an enormous return in July.
NY has been thinking about acquiring Mitchell for a long period. In January, an Eastern Conference scout told Ric Bucher of Fox Sports that the Jazz were “a first-round exit from Donovan being in NY.”
Newsday’s Steve Popper added in February that Knicks executive vice president William Wesley have been gearing up to produce a move for the three-time All-Star:
“Based on the same one who pointed to Wesley’s criticism of Thibodeau, Wesley has been selling his plan, one which eventually will land Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, a fresh York native. But this is simply not schmoozing a higher school player and steering him to a college of preference, and it’s not simple even though the relationships come in place. Rose served as a former agent for Mitchell and leading office also inserted Johnnie Bryant as associate head coach after Bryant served being an assistant in Utah.”
Mitchell is apparently thinking about playing for the Knicks, too. Iona mens basketball coach Rick Pitino, who coached Mitchell at Louisville from 2015 to 2017, told Berman he “loves the Knicks” and will be thinking about heading home to play before his family:
“Donovan loves being around his mom, sister and dad. Donovan would treasure being truly a Knick. That said, things need to workout. Im hoping, keeping my fingers crossed he becomes a Knick. It could be very special for me personally as a coach seeing him in a Knick uniform being an ex-Knick coach.”
Mitchell would undoubtedly help take the Knicks from the playoff team to a title contender.
He’s got been a staple in the Jazz lineup since his 2017-18 rookie season and is coming off a good 2021-22 campaign that saw him average 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 67 games while shooting 44.8 percent from the ground and 35.5 percent from deep.
However, a deal for the star guard will probably drop to who offers Ainge the very best package, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, LA Lakers, Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets are thinking about the veteran, per John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.