The New York Knicks-Donovan Mitchell saga continues. Danny Ainge and the Utah Jazz are remaining firm in what they want in exchange for the New York native, which would reportedly cause the Knicks to possibly part ways with all of their eight tradable first-round picks.
New York has the most to offer Utah in terms of assets, which could be part of the reason why the Jazz aren’t willing to lower their asking price. But then again, that’s how Ainge is. He held onto Rudy Gobert until the Minnesota Timberwolves offered five first-round picks and five players.
Mitchell still has three years left on his contract until he’ll have a $37 million player option in 2025-26, so unless he publicly requests a trade, there won’t be a rush for Utah to get rid of him.
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, Brock Aller is the one who facilitates trades, while Leon Rose “will often splice in near the end to wrap up deals.” And if New York isn’t willing to offer up seven or eight first-round picks on top of a few players, Ainge won’t be listening to Aller or Rose.
Marc Stein’s the one who reported that Ainge is looking to get seven to eight first-round picks in a haul (subscription required).
The Jazz reportedly want seven or eight first-round picks from the Knicks in exchange for Donovan Mitchell
The price for Mitchell is sky-high right now. It was originally thought that the Knicks could throw five first-round picks in a deal with a couple of players, but that apparently won’t be enough. Katz wrote:
"Ainge is famous for setting a price for a guy he’s trying to deal or for one he’s trying to acquire, then waiting out the situation until someone meets that exact cost.Don’t want to trade six or seven first-rounders for Mitchell? Fine. Ainge will hang up the phone and flee to the golf course without any regrets."
It was reported that New York and Utah have already discussed a trade, but with the 2022-23 season starting in October, there isn’t a push for a trade to happen in July. And Ainge is stubborn. The Jazz set the market high with the Gobert trade, so imagine what a Kevin Durant trade would look like if Utah wants seven or eight first-round picks for Mitchell.
The Knicks have been linked to Mitchell for some time now because he’s from the area, he’s represented by the CAA, his father works for the New York Mets, and he’s close with Johnnie Bryant.
There’s plenty of reason to believe that the 25-year-old doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild with the Jazz during his prime, but until the asking price goes down, it seems like the Knicks won’t be willing to give up as much as Ainge is hoping to get.
The negotiations are going to continue and one of two things is going to have to happen for Mitchell to play in New York. Either Utah will accept a lower offer or the Knicks will cave to the Jazz’s high demands. If neither of those things happen, Mitchell will still be in Utah in 2022-23.