Quick Bit: The Knicks want star power in Madison Square Garden, and the Jazz are looking to add to their growing list of assets. So, why are trade talks at a standstill?
When the Jazz and Timberwolves completed the blockbuster trade that sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesota, it marked the end of an era in Utah. The Jazz’s front office, now led by CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge, made it clear that a rebuild was coming.
With Gobert gone, it didn’t take long for Donovan Mitchell’s name to pop up in trade rumors. On July 12, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz were willing to listen to offers for the 25-year-old guard. Less than 48 hours after that Woj Bomb dropped, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones reported that the Knicks and Jazz had “discussed a deal framework.”
A trade felt inevitable. Mitchell is a New York native and represented by CAA, an agency which was once led by Knicks president Leon Rose. The Knicks want star power in Madison Square Garden, and the Jazz are looking to add to their growing list of assets.
However, with the calendar about to flip from July to August, trade talks are at a standstill.
Why haven’t the Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks?
The simple answer? The Jazz and Knicks aren’t speaking to each other right now.
Trade discussions have “stalled out,” according to Charania, who revealed on July 29 that there hasn’t been any contact between Utah and New York in “roughly the last two weeks.”
With those negotiations on hold, the Jazz have engaged in conversations with other teams, including the Hornets and Wizards, per Charania. It’s unclear what Charlotte or Washington would be willing to give up in a potential Mitchell trade.
Reaching out to other suitors makes sense from the Jazz’s perspective, but they will likely end up coming back to the Knicks because New York has the players and draft picks that Utah desires.
What is preventing the Knicks from acquiring Donovan Mitchell?
The Knicks are willing to give up a few things. The Jazz are asking for “everything but the Statue of Liberty,” per Jones.
New York has some intriguing young talent in RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin, but the real draw for Utah is the treasure chest of future picks. The Knicks can trade up to eight future first-rounders (four of their own and four from other teams) to the Jazz.
As Wojnarwoski noted, the Knicks may view this as a sliding scale situation. Adding more players would mean less picks are on the table, and adding more picks would mean removing certain players.
Utah could argue that the Gobert trade set the bar for a Mitchell deal, so the Jazz should get the players and picks. New York could counter that it only has to beat the best available offer, not the return package for Gobert.
Will the two sides ultimately figure out a way to meet in the middle? Or will one team back down?
Originally found on Sporting News Read More