The New York Knicks are reportedly in discussions over a trade with Utah for Donovan Mitchell, but the cost could be a huge mistake.
The moment reports emerged that the Jazz would be listening to trade calls for Donovan Mitchell, the Knicks looked like the team that could most likely get the deal done.
New York wants a super star. Mitchell is originally from New York. The Knicks have draft picks and young players to bargain with. It’s an obvious trade partnership.
That doesn’t mean the Knicks wouldn’t be making a huge gamble meeting Utah’s asking price.
Knicks are about to make a big mistake with Donovan Mitchell trade offer
According to Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Knicks “have emerged as the focused destination” for Mitchell.
The cost? Utah is “focused on obtaining draft picks and younger players who are on rookie-scale deals.”
New York has the draft picks, including eight upcoming first-round selections in their arsenal. The draft picks aren’t the risk. The young players are.
The Knicks are stocked with bright young talents, from RJ Barrett and Emmanuel Quickley to Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson, Cam Reddish and Quentin Grimes. Each of those players fits the profile the Jazz are targeting.
It would be a surprise if Barrett was included in trade discussions coming off a 20-point season but Utah would be stupid not to ask after him.
More likely, Quickley, Toppin, Robinson, Reddish and Grimes will be involved in any trade conversations.
To get Rudy Gobert from Utah, the Timberwolves had to give up four first-round picks and five players. If the Knicks were to give up an equal number of firsts along with their young core, even setting aside Barrett, they would be demolishing much of their energetic, youthful depth.
A lineup including Mitchell, Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle would certainly be fun. At the same time, without depth, that group would have just as much trouble making it through the Eastern Conference playoffs as the Knicks have had this century.
New York made the mistake of giving up the farm for a superstar back when they acquired Carmelo Anthony. They need to be wary of history repeating itself.