We’re in the thick of the NBA offseason and New York Knicks fans are waiting to learn if this will be the summer that the front office trades for a star. New York’s roster is imbalanced with several guards and a lack of depth at forward, leading many to believe that something major is in the works.
This time last year, the Knicks were in pursuit of Donovan Mitchell. The All-Star guard was expected to “go home” to New York to play at MSG, but Cleveland ended that hope by meeting Danny Ainge’s demand of three unprotected first-round picks. Eight months later, the Knicks knocked Mitchell and the Cavaliers out of the first round of the playoffs.
There isn’t a player of Mitchell’s caliber that’s on the trade market this year, or at least not yet. New York has been linked to players such as Zach LaVine, who could be on the move if Chicago decides to go in the direction of a rebuilding phase. However, LaVine is represented by Klutch Sports, and reportedly his camp doesn’t have an interest in him playing for the CAA Knicks.
That hasn’t stopped the LaVine to the Knicks “rumors” from floating around, but the 28-year-old had a hilarious response to being asked when he’s going to demand a trade to New York.
Zach LaVine calls out Donovan Mitchell after being asked about demanding a trade to the Knicks
Is the worst-kept secret in the NBA that Donovan Mitchell, even after being traded to the Cavaliers, has a desire to play for the Knicks? Maybe.
Next offseason, Mitchell will officially be on an expiring contract. If the 2023-24 season plays out for the Cavaliers in a similar fashion to 2022-23, perhaps Mitchell will once again be on the move. The Knicks chatter even has Cavaliers fans worried, and rightfully so.
Jalen Brunson blossomed into a star in New York this past season, something that many didn’t expect after he played his first four years in the league in Luka Doncic’s “shadow.” And Brunson still hasn’t showcased everything that he’s capable of, pushing the Knicks in the direction of doing what they can to build around the point guard.
There have been questions about a Brunson-Mitchell backcourt, but there’s no question about the offensive firepower that duo would bring to New York.
Mitchell said several times after being traded to Cleveland that he thought he was going to NYC. After the Cavaliers were sent home by the Knicks in the postseason, he raved about what it was like to be part of a playoff atmosphere at MSG.
Leon Rose and Co. are waiting in the rafters to go after the right star, and perhaps they already have their sights set on someone in particular. Is that someone Donovan Mitchell? Or maybe even Joel Embiid? Only time will tell.