Latest Knicks-Donovan Mitchell trade news gives insight on Danny Ainge’s demands

New York Knicks fans have known that Danny Ainge is trying to get the most that he possibly can in return for three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Ainge and the Utah Jazz received far more than they should’ve for three-time DPOY Rudy Gobert in early July, which has reportedly played a part in the Jazz’s discussions with other teams regarding Mitchell.

Mitchell signed a five-year, $195 million extension with Utah in November of 2020 and he still has three guaranteed years left on his contract. Shortly after trading Gobert, the Jazz made it known that they were willing to discuss a trade for Mitchell, although that was expected. The 25-year-old guard hasn’t requested a trade, but that could be what ends up happening next.

New York and Utah have engaged in conversations, but nothing came out of them. Ainge’s asking price is too high as it stands, and he even reportedly asked about a package that included both RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.

The Jazz are headed towards rebuild mode, but in order for the organization to fully embrace that phase, Mitchell will have to be traded. And because Ainge was able to get so much in return for Gobert from the Minnesota Timberwolves, he’s used that to set the bar for a Mitchell trade.

The Jazz want to get back more for Donovan Mitchell than they did for Rudy Gobert

According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, “Utah is looking to land a bigger haul for Mitchell than the Rudy Gobert trade that netted four first-round picks and 2022 first-rounder Walker Kessler from Minnesota.”

Along with the four first-round picks and Walker Kessler, the Jazz received Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt, and a 2026 pick swap.

Scotto wrote that the belief is that Utah’s looking for five or six first-round picks in exchange for Mitchell. The Knicks have eight tradable first-round picks, but giving up as many as six picks would be steep.

New York’s going to have to part ways with a few of its young players in the process, which would presumably be a mix of Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and Deuce McBride. It’s known that when you trade for a player of Mitchell’s caliber, you have to be willing to give up a good amount in return, but Ainge isn’t the easiest person to deal with.

Things may seem boring now on the trade front, but with a little over two months left until the start of the 2022-23 season, that could change if the Knicks are serious about getting Mitchell by the end of the offseason.