It was a little over two weeks ago when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Utah Jazz were open to discussing Donovan Mitchell trades. Since then, the New York Knicks have engaged in trade talks with the Jazz, but nothing came of it. There’s been a fear amongst Knicks fans that RJ Barrett could be included in a trade, but he isn’t a player that Utah should want.
Danny Ainge is reportedly seeking either seven or eight first-round picks on top of a few young players. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that it’s believed that the Jazz have interest in Quentin Grimes, but outside of that, nothing’s been said about who else Utah may want.
Barrett is entering his fourth year in the league and as of July 1, he’s eligible to sign a rookie extension up until the start of the 2022-23 season. Barrett being due for a big payday is likely the reason why the Jazz want to stay away from him.
And on Jake Fischer’s ‘Please Don’t Aggregate This’ podcast, he said that he’s been hearing that Utah doesn’t have interest in receiving Barrett in a potential trade.
Jazz reportedly have continued to show no interest in trading for Knicks’ RJ Barrett
Utah’s reportedly after young players that would come at a cheap cost and Barrett doesn’t fit that description. If the Jazz wanted him in a trade, but wouldn’t be willing to pay him, he could go elsewhere next summer as a restricted free agent. That’d defeat the purpose.
To add to that, SNY’s Ian Begley reported that New York has no interest in trading Barrett. The front office sees what the fans do, and it’s that the 22-year-old is worth building around. The Knicks went out and signed Jalen Brunson in free agency and have a real shot at trading for Mitchell with their eight tradable first-round picks. Barrett should get to stay with the Knicks and be part of their future.
After struggling in the draft for years, New York has shown that it’s capable of building through the draft. Mitchell Robinson was the No. 36 pick in 2018, Barrett was the No. 3 pick in 2019, Obi Toppin was the No. 8 pick in 2020 and Immanuel Quickley was the No. 25 pick, Quentin Grimes was the No. 25 pick in 2021, Deuce McBride was the No. 36 pick in 2021, and Jericho Sims was the No. 58 pick in 2021.
Without a doubt, a couple of those players would be included in a trade for Donovan Mitchell (excluding Barrett and Robinson), but the Knicks aren’t who they used to be.
And instead of trading away yet another lottery pick (Kevin Knox) or letting them walk (Frank Ntilikina), New York found a gem in Barrett. Here’s to the future.