The New York Knicks had a solid offseason with the acquisitions they made. In addition to freeing up enough space to sign Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein in NBA free agency, the team added even more future capital in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After completing this trade, the Knicks have eight first-round picks they can include in a trade package. They are looking to land a superstar player and have set their sights on Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz.
At the moment, negotiations are progressing slowly. Utah has an astronomical asking price for Mitchell, as they want at least, if not more, what they received from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Rudy Gobert. Trading five players, four first-round picks, and including a pick swap has certainly shaken up the trade market.
The Jazz are looking for more than six picks from the Knicks in addition to some of their young players such as Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Cam Reddish and Deuce McBride. The Knicks also have RJ Barrett, but they’re not looking to include him in a deal.
Unsurprisingly, New York rejected these proposals. Leon Rose isn’t going to empty his entire cache of assets as Mitchell could be the first of several moves to turn the Knicks into contenders. Retaining some draft picks and young players will allow them to create another competitive package for a superstar down the road.
The Knicks also know they have the edge over every other team that has been tied to Mitchell and the Jazz. As The Athletic’s Fred Katz wrote, New York knows they have the best deal and have no reason to increase what they’re currently offering.
“Over the past few weeks, I’ve written or said or thought countless times about a variation of the following line: The Knicks’ B-tier offer is better than most of the other contenders’ A-tier offers.”
The Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat are the other six teams that have been mentioned as potential contenders. Katz detailed the all-in deals for these teams and in several cases, even a Knicks B package is better than an A package from these teams.
LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMOR: Updates on Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz and New York Knicks
None of these teams can come close to New York in terms of draft capital that can be traded. Matching up-and-coming young talent would also be difficult, as it depends on what the Utah front office thinks of guys like Tyler Herro, OG Anunoby, John Collins and Keegan Murray.
Right now, the Knicks are probably in the driving seat when it comes to acquiring Mitchell. Danny Ainge is a notoriously difficult negotiator, as he always wins the trades he is involved in. But, the Jazz are the team looking at a rebuild, not the Knicks.
New York has time on their side as they meet their greatest need this offseason, improving the playmaking position. Adding Mitchell would be icing on the cake and certainly improve the team, but not enough to the point that would be worth unloading all their draft capital and young players.
Latest NBA news and trade rumours: New York Knicks and Utah Jazz
For the latest on Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz and the New York Knicks, check out our NBA news and trade rumors feed.