It’s the start of a new week and there still hasn’t been any major Donovan Mitchell trade news. The New York Knicks have the most to give the Utah Jazz, but Danny Ainge has been trying to get as much as he can (as in far too much) in return for Mitchell.
The Jazz have reportedly upped their asking price to either seven or eight first-round picks for the three-time All-Star, as well as a few young players. The Knicks have eight tradable first-round picks, but they shouldn’t be willing to part with that many.
Utah got a haul from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Rudy Gobert, which has caused Ainge to seek out more in return for Mitchell.
According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Jazz inquired about a package that included RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, a couple of players, and at least three first-round picks before it became official that Utah was willing to listen to offers for Donovan Mitchell.
That reportedly happened about a month ago and since then, Begley reported that “People in touch with the club recently said New York has no interest in trading RJ Barrett in any deal.”
Jazz reportedly asked the Knicks for RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson in exchange for Donovan Mitchell
Sheesh, Ainge is trying to fleece the Knicks’ front office. He got what he wanted in return for Gobert, but to expect New York to give up both Barrett and Robinson is bizarre.
Barrett’s been eligible to sign a rookie extension since July 1, and while that should be enough to keep the Jazz away, the idea of paying the 22-year-old is something that Utah’s reportedly considered. Ian Begley wrote:
"The idea that the Jazz were thinking about what a Barrett extension may look like isn’t surprising. Any team in Utah’s position would want to project an extension for him into any possible trade scenarios.But the idea that the Jazz asked about a package including Barrett and tried to estimate what an extension would look like for the player tells you that Utah had a degree of interest in Barrett."
When ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz were willing to listen to offers for Mitchell, the initial thought was that Utah would try to get Barrett. He’s considered to be New York’s best young player, so why wouldn’t Ainge at least make an effort to get him? Ainge isn’t known for being shy in trade offers, so it shouldn’t be a shock that the Jazz asked for Barrett.
And it’s not as if the deal is being held up because Utah’s demanding for Barrett to be included. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that there’s a belief that the Jazz are interested in getting Quentin Grimes, and while that would still sting, Grimes being part of a deal would make sense.
Maybe August will be the month that Donovan Mitchell will become a Knick, and in a couple of months, maybe we’ll get to see him play alongside RJ Barrett. Let’s make a deal.