New York Knicks, Utah Jazz

Thibs would give up young star for Donovan Mitchell

The Knicks are going to have to give up a substantial amount to get Donovan Mitchell. 

The New York Knicks’ pursuit of Donovan Mitchell has been rebooted late in the offseason after talks with the Utah Jazz reportedly stalled weeks ago. The Knicks have a vote of confidence from their head coach, Tom Thibodeau, who is apparently willing to give up a significant piece of the Knicks young core to get a deal done, though decision making authority is beyond Thibodeau at this point.

A report from the New York Post indicates that the talks between the two teams stalled because Utah executive Danny Ainge wanted a major draft pick haul as well as players. Mark Berman of The Post writes:

“According to multiple industry sources, the Knicks were turned off by Utah team president Danny Ainge’s initial demands, when he asked in July for a package of seven first-round picks and players. Talks died, but recently there has been renewed back-and-forth.”

Knicks rumors: Tom Thibodeau willing to part with RJ Barrett to get Donovan Mitchell

Tom Thibodeau, according to Berman, is believed to be willing to part with RJ Barrett in order to acquire Donovan Mitchell in favor of keeping Quentin Grimes. As much as fans might not want to part with Barrett, who has become a fan favorite, the front office calculus right now is to shelter future assets like draft picks in a potential deal for a star like Barrett.

“The Knicks’ major concern, according to sources, is giving away too many future assets, which could leave them stuck in an area far below championship contender.”

Berman goes on to report that there are concerns with Barrett’s rookie contract extension eligibility coming up within the organization and whether or not he’ll be worth the dollars he may command.

Barrett is coming off a 20.0 point per game season but took a step back in shooting efficiency from the field and beyond the arc. There are some redundancies in Barrett and Mitchell’s game as well.

While he has steadily progressed throughout his career, whether or not he has lived up to the expectations of a third overall pick is debatable. He is 39th in career VORP among all 2019 draft picks.

Mitchell, a 3-time All-Star, undoubtedly gets the Knicks closer to title contention than Barrett does at this moment. According to the Post report, internal Knicks brass believes Mitchell would get them 10 more regular season wins.

Other teams, including possibly the Miami Heat, are in the running for Mitchell. Rumors have indicated Mitchell is fine continuing on in Utah, but also wouldn’t mind a new home.

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