After losing out on Donovan Mitchell, the New York Knicks may make a run at “the next disgruntled player.”
The New York Knicks were linked to Donovan Mitchell ever since the Utah Jazz made him available to trade. They were even reported to be the favorites to land him. That never happened, as Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sept. 1 in exchange for Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks, and two pick swaps.
With the Knicks losing out on bringing the star and New York native, what is their plan now?
Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote about the Knicks missing out on Mitchell, and said the Knicks could be looking for the “next disgruntled player who goes on the trading block,” and brought up a name that was previously mentioned — Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Knicks could pivot to next disgruntled player after losing out on Donovan Mitchell
“Ironically, the Knicks passed on him in the 2108 draft, much like they whiffed on Mitchell in 2017,” writes Berman, h/t New York Post. “Gilgeous-Alexander could be a better fit with Brunson than Mitchell.”
The Thunder gave Gilgeous-Alexander a five-year, $179.9 million contract extension last offseason, and he is under contract until the summer of 2027.
Obviously, things can change over time, but the Knicks do have the draft capital to make a huge move for a “disgruntled player.” That is why they were considered the favorites for Mitchell, after all.
There was plenty of talk about where things went wrong for New York. Berman reported that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge was looking for four unprotected first-round picks, something that New York was unwilling to do.
Then, hours after the trade was agreed upon between Utah and Cleveland, ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks had initially offered R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson and three unprotected first-round picks to the Jazz back at the start of July. Yet, Utah turned it down.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium said that he was told the Knicks’ last offer to the Jazz was Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and two unprotected first-round picks for Mitchell. The Jazz, Charania said, wanted one more unprotected pick, multiple draft pick swaps, and “potentially another young player.”
Either way, the Knicks are moving forward with their core of players. Barrett officially signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension this past week. They made a variety of moves this offseason to free up cap space to go sign their desired point guard in Jalen Brunson. New York also re-signed Robinson to a $60 million contract extension.
The Knicks will move forward with the team they currently have heading into the 2022-23 season. But, they do have the capital to make a big splash in the future. It’s just a matter of how things play out.