Could we be looking at a Jalen Brunson and Donovan Mitchell backcourt for the New York Knicks in 2022-23? On the very same day that they made the Brunson signing official, the Knicks are being linked to Mitchell in trade rumors with the Utah Jazz.
Tony Jones over at The Athletic reported Tuesday afternoon that the Knicks are expected to quickly put together a trade package for Mitchell.
This comes shortly after a separate report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN suggested that the Jazz have changed their stance and will listen to offers for their All-Star guard.
The Knicks’ interest shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. They have long been linked to the 25-year-old New York native. In fact, they are considered one of his preferred landing spots should a trade come together.
The cost of a potential Donovan Mitchell trade to the New York Knicks
The baseline here has to be what Utah received from the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star center Rudy Gobert in a trade earlier this month. The Jazz acquired four future first-round picks, three of which are unprotected. They also picked up five players, including defensive stopper Patrick Beverley and rookie first-round pick Walker Kessler.
- Donovan Mitchell contract: 5 years, $163 million w/ $37.1 million player option in 2025-26
Mitchell’s contract makes him an even more valuable trade asset for Utah in that he’s under team control for at least the next three seasons. That can’t go unnoticed in all of this.
As for the New York Knicks, they added multiple future first-round picks in separate trades during the 2022 NBA Draft last month. This gives front office head Leon Rose a ton of avenues to pursue a potential Mitchell trade with Utah.
If the Jazz were to deal Mitchell, it would be the latest example that they’re going into full-scale rebuild mode under first-year head coach Will Hardy. The idea here would be to collect as many draft assets and young players as they can. Here’s how a deal might come together.
- New York Knicks get: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gay
- Utah Jazz get: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Cam Reddish, Evan Fournier, 4 1st-rounr picks, 2 pick swaps
All four of the Knicks’ first-round picks (2023, 2024, 2026 and 2028) would be unprotected. They’d also add two pick swaps in 2025 and 2027.
Utah acquires a solid young wing in Barrett who averaged 20 points per game as a third-year player in 2021-22. It also picks up a potential replacement for Mitchell in the backcourt in that of Quickley. From there, the Jazz choose between Reddish or Obi Toppin as another option heading to Salt Lake. Fournier is included for salary purposes.
In return, New York rolls with a core four in Brunson, Mitchell, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson moving forward. It’s a much better group than last season’s iteration in the Big Apple. That’s for sure.