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New York Knicks want to ‘hang onto’ Quentin Grimes in Donovan Mitchell trade

Matt Johnson

The New York Knicks immediately called the Utah Jazz the moment All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell started being floated in NBA trade rumors. While it still appears both sides are open to making a deal, they are reportedly far apart when it comes to the final cost.

Following the stunning return from the Rudy Gobert trade, Jazz executive Danny Ainge set an even higher asking price to move Mitchell. Reports suggested Ainge wanted at least six first-round picks and coveted several of New York’s young players on team-friendly contracts.

It immediately proved to be a barrier in negotiations, with the Jazz and Knicks only able to engage in preliminary discussions that gained limited traction. One player Utah is reportedly prioritizing in any deal is 22-year-old wing Quentin Grimes.

Related: New York Knicks must avoid Danny Ainge trap in Donovan Mitchell trade

While that would seemingly be a player New York is willing to part with if it means bringing a star to Madison Square Garden, it appears that isn’t the case.

Tony Jones of The Athletic appeared on the HoopsHype Podcast this week, reporting that the Knicks are pushing to keep Grimes and Derrick Rose out of any deal.

“The Jazz want what they want, which is picks out of this deal, and they want young guys on short or rookie contracts. By definition, that means Toppin, Grimes and Quickley. They’re good young players, and the Knicks want to protect those guys. The Knicks don’t necessarily want to put in their young guys. They want to try to unload some undesirable contracts. The Knicks don’t want to unload Derrick Rose. He’s long been a favorite of Tom Thibodeau. I know the Knicks want to hang onto him and Grimes. Those guys are priorities.

Tony Jones on Donovan Mitchell trade talks between the New York Knicks, Utah Jazz

It comes as no surprise that the Jazz are targeting New York’s youngest talent. Grimes is coming off a phenomenal performance in the NBA Summer League with many leaving Las Vegas confident he was one of the best players out there.

Latest on New York Knicks’ pursuit of Donovan Mitchell

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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New York’s front office has earned a reputation in recent years for exploring trades for superstars but never getting close to a deal, either because it lacked the assets or willingness to pay the price. Mitchell seemed like the player who would change that, with many believing a trade was inevitable.

However, talks hit a breaking point long before NBA executives across the league went on vacation for the summer. As of now, insiders don’t believe there will be any momentum on Mitchell or any other star being traded until September.

Considering Mitchell isn’t pushing for a trade out of Utah, Ainge isn’t under any pressure to rush into a deal. If the Knicks return from the break without being more receptive to providing the Jazz with a much stronger return, Mitchell won’t be going to New York anytime soon.