Welp. Just as it seemed like the New York Knicks would acquire an All-Star player, the Cleveland Cavaliers swooped in and traded a massive package for Donovan Mitchell. Knicks fans are very upset right now, which does not make much sense to me after looking at the absolute haul Danny Ainge and the Utah Jazz pulled in. I’m here to tell you all that New York missing out on Donovan Mitchell is not the end of the world.
The Cavs gave more draft picks for Mitchell than the Los Angeles Lakers gave for Anthony Davis. Yes, I’m aware that the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, but two of those guys are on different teams now, while Ingram has thrived under sea level in New Orleans with a very exciting team.
Giving Collin Sexton, who is a worse version of Mitchell as an undersized score-first/defend last guard, Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Agbaji is still a solid group of three players. Those players, plus five first-round picks, signified the Cavs going all in. The Knicks actually offered a better package, the Jazz played themselves, which is something we can thank them for because, frankly, what Leon Rose offered for Mitchell disgusts me.
The Knicks made the right move by not trading for Donovan Mitchell
New York reportedly offered RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and multiple first-round picks, two of which were unprotected. What would that trade have done for the Knicks? It would have made us a perennial second-round exit at best with a core of Brunson, Mitchell, and Julius Randle.
For the Knicks fans who are mad that our team is being trolled… y’all do realize that no matter what we do, casual NBA fans will say “typical Knicks” because they want attention, right? Now New York can continue to build with the young core.
I am a Julius Randle apologist. While 70% of the Knicks fanbase hates the guy, I am a rational person who chooses not to boo the player who kept us from going a decade without making the playoffs. Maybe I’m crazy, though. I agree with the thought that Randle could return to his All-Star form in 2022-23.
With that being said, I want Julius traded for the sake of everyone involved. It is time to fully move forward with the youth movement. There are a few trades that New York could make to move Randle, with my favorite being one where he returns to his former team. Randle would be bringing fellow veteran Evan Fournier with him and the Knicks would get picks back for taking on Russell Westbrook, who they would subsequently buyout for him to sign with Miami. Yeah, you heard me, it’s your move, Heat.
The Knicks have a chance to have an incredibly young and exciting roster with enough picks to move up in the stacked 2023 NBA Draft. The Cavs made a move for Mitchell, who looks like he can be the second-best player on a championship team. This makes sense for them, as they believe Evan Mobley can become a superstar who can lead a team to a championship… not to mention they have two other All-Stars on the roster.
This move made all the sense in the world for the Cavs if Mobley turns out to be a superstar. If Mobley does not, then who knows. The Knicks have RJ Barrett, who has wild potential and has shown an increased ability to look like an elite player down the line, but New York and Cleveland are in two different positions.
The Knicks dodged a bullet by not giving up as much as the Cavaliers did for Donovan Mitchell. If you ask me, the dumbest thing about this lack of a trade is that Jazz fans are excited that the Knicks made the smart move of not giving up everything to become a decent (at best) team. They should be upset that Utah did not fleece New York and instead settled for a worse offer.
The Knicks missing out on Donovan Mitchell is not the end of the world, as the landscape of the NBA shows that next year there will be a new disgruntled star. Plus, New York can now look to trade up in the draft for someone who fits the Knicks’ timeline if their progression stays the same.
If you blame Leon Rose for not making the Donovan Mitchell trade, you’re too starstruck by name value. Take a breath, sit back, and be excited that we did not make a major mistake.