The New York Knicks have had a strong offseason with the acquisitions that they have made. In addition to clearing enough cap space to sign Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein in NBA free agency, the team added even more future draft capital in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After completing that trade, the Knicks have eight first-round picks that 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.
Right now, negotiations are slow-moving. 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 turned the trade market on its head.
The Jazz are seeking upwards of 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 are not looking to include him in a deal.
Unsurprisingly, New York has turned down those proposals. Leon Rose isn’t going to empty their entire cache of assets as Mitchell could be the first of multiple moves to turn the Knicks into contenders. Holding onto some draft picks and young players will enable them to build another competitive package for a superstar down the road.
The Knicks also know that they have the edge over all of the other teams that have been linked to Mitchell and the Jazz. As Fred Katz of The Athletic wrote, New York knows they have the best offer and have no reason to increase what they are currently offering.
“Over the past few weeks, I’ve written or said or thought some variation of the following line countless times: the Knicks’ B-level offer is better than most of the other suitors’ A-level offers.”
The Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat are the six other teams that have been mentioned as potential suitors. Katz detailed the all-in offers for those teams and in multiple instances, even a B package from the Knicks is better than an A package from those teams.
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None of those teams can get close to New York in terms of draft capital that can be traded. Matching the young, high-upside talent would also be difficult as it depends on what Utah’s front office feels about guys such as Tyler Herro, OG Anunoby, John Collins and Keegan Murray.
Right now, the Knicks are likely in the driver’s seat when it comes to acquiring Mitchell. Danny Ainge is a notoriously difficult negotiator, as he always wins the trades that he is involved in. But, the Jazz are the team staring down a rebuild, not the Knicks.
New York has time on their side as they addressed their biggest need this offseason, upgrading the point guard position. Adding Mitchell would be a cherry on top and certainly improve the team, but not enough to the point that it would be worthwhile unloading all of their draft capital and young players.
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