It isn’t a question of whether a potential New York Knicks trade target will sign an extension with his team before the new season starts but whether he’ll do so next summer.
The Knicks were supposed to be the team to trade for Donovan Mitchell last offseason, but Danny Ainge’s price turned New York off. Instead, Cleveland sent Utah three unprotected first-round picks. As much as Cavaliers fans wish it could be a happily ever after ending, the 27-year-old guard’s future is still uncertain.
Mitchell has been eligible to sign an extension, but as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has said several times throughout the offseason, chances are slim of him doing so. Unlike Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mitchell hasn’t publicly pressured Cleveland, but the team should still feel the heat.
Windhorst reiterated that he doesn’t believe a Mitchell extension will happen on Thursday’s edition of NBA Today. He added that the Cavaliers’ Media Day will be particularly interesting because it will reveal how the guard decides to address the inevitable extension-related questions.
Will potential Knicks trade target sign an extension with the Cavaliers?
As Brian Windhorst noted, Donovan Mitchell was a true professional throughout his time in Utah, even toward the end of his five years there. He didn’t publicly request a trade, and throughout the summer, he didn’t explicitly say he wanted to play for the Knicks. However, since being traded, Mitchell has said he thought he would end up in New York.
Just because the Knicks didn’t go all-in on Mitchell doesn’t mean the rumors have ended. If he doesn’t sign an extension this summer, that wouldn’t be a surprise, especially because he isn’t eligible for a supermax because he was traded.
Mitchell could sign a long-term extension to stay in Cleveland, depending on how the Cavaliers’ 2023-24 season goes. If that doesn’t happen, he could enter free agency the following offseason if he were to decline his $37 million player option for 2025-26.
Before things reach that point, the Cavaliers should seriously consider trading him rather than let him walk for nothing.
Guess which team could step in and get Mitchell for less than they could’ve in 2022? The Knicks were blasted for “missing” out on yet another star, but the front office’s refusal to meet Ainge’s price could look even more genius.
Donovan Mitchell hasn’t explicitly said he wants to go home to play for New York, but it’s safe to assume he’d jump at the opportunity.