New York Knicks news: Has Jalen Brunson forced the front office to change thinking about a Donovan Mitchell trade?

New York Knicks
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After years of stories about the New York Knicks looking to bring Donovan Mitchell back to the state where he grew up, a new report claims the team has now lost interest in the long-rumored trade.

The Knicks enter what could be a huge offseason that sets up how competitive they are in the next few seasons. While they fell in the second round of the NBA Playoffs for a second straight season, most feel injuries played a key role and they had a roster with the potential to reach the NBA Finals.

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Beyond using their three picks in the top 38 of this month’s draft, and trying to re-sign OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein, there has been a lot of talk about the franchise making a blockbuster trade this summer. Unsurprisingly, the discourse has reignited the speculation on a potential deal for New York native Donovan Mitchell. Since he does not seem interested in signing an extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Well, it seems that despite negotiations to trade for Mitchell two summers ago and rumors in the winter, the organization may no longer be keen on the idea. On Thursday, The Athletic Knicks reporter Fred Katz claimed the front office “would not be as enthusiastic” about pursuing the five-time All-Star if he hit the trade block.

  • Donovan Mitchell stats (2023-24): 26.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.8 SPG, 37% 3 PT

The main reason why? The emergence of Jalen Brunson as a legitimate star in the league. “Brunson is a star now, and Mitchell, though he’s had the best seasons of his career in Cleveland, has not shown he can fit perfectly alongside a score-first point guard who commands the ball often,” Katz wrote.

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After looking like a rising star before Mitchell arrived in Cleveland two years ago, Darius Garland has regressed as a player with the former Utah Jazz All-Star alongside him in the backcourt. Katz suggests their performance together is playing a key role in the front office’s strategy shift.

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