With all the news surrounding the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz budding superstar Donovan Mitchell, it’s important to note that trading for Mitchell wouldn’t be comparable to the Carmelo Anthony trade. The Knicks now have a considerably better roster than they did when they traded for Melo back in February of 2011.
Over the summer, I decided to take a small hiatus from DailyKnicks to focus on other things in life, such as bartending at a restaurant that’s losing money faster than I’m losing the reader’s attention for not talking about Donovan Mitchell. The news that the Knicks began discussions for Mitchell started almost immediately after I went on hiatus because that’s my luck; something to write about in the boring part of the offseason comes out right as I take time off!
During my time away, I saw a ton of comments on social media and heard people say this would not move the needle and that it would be too similar to the Melo trade, and all of this is just flat-out incorrect. Also, the Melo trade was the right move, but that’s a story for a different day.
A Knicks-Donovan Mitchell trade would be different than the Carmelo Anthony trade
This trade would be much different due to the Knicks’ roster now compared to their roster in 2011. Before Melo arrived, New York had a lineup of Raymond Felton, Landry Fields, Danilo Gallinari, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Ronny Turiaf… yikes.
Gallinari was the Knicks’ best young player and he was not some super highly touted prospect. Wilson Chandler was their second-best young player, who was not at all a highly touted prospect.
The current Knicks would most likely keep RJ Barrett, as the Jazz should not want to pay Barrett an extension since they’re attempting to tank. Mitchell Robinson just signed an extension and Immanuel Quickley shouldn’t be included in a trade, meaning that their three best young players could stay on the team. They also have Jalen Brunson, who is much better than Felton was.
There’s been a lot of noise from Knicks fans about not wanting to give up Quentin Grimes in a trade for Mitchell. I understand this, as Grimes fits like a glove on any successful team, but New York does have a ton of wing players as is, and if Grimes is the breaking point to get Mitchell, saying no would be completely and utterly ridiculous.
The Knicks did not have a player like Barrett when they traded for Anthony. Barrett is a young player who’s set to have a breakout season with the Knicks, which gives them more leverage than they had in the Melo trade. New York would get to pair Mitchell and Barrett together, forming a potentially elite wing duo that would complement each other fantastically.
I’m going to finish this off by proposing this trade for Donovan Mitchell because I can genuinely see this happening, and giving this up would not destroy the Knicks’ core. If they want to pursue another star via trade, the door will stay open for that opportunity.
This trade would leave the Knicks with assets after getting Donovan Mitchell, specifically keeping RJ Barrett, who fits Mitchell’s timeline flawlessly. Barrett and Mitchell have the potential to grow together. Melo never had anyone to grow with into an elite duo. Things are different eleven years later.