Since Leon Rose took over as team president in 2020, the New York Knicks have been on star watch. His connections as a CAA agent have carried over to his position in New York’s front office.
Damian Lillard and James Harden wouldn’t move the needles for the Knicks, so the team hasn’t been seriously engaged in trade talks for either guard. Rose and Co. aren’t jumping at any star that hits the market but instead are taking precautions before cashing in New York’s assets.
The new season should reveal a lot about the direction the Knicks hope to go in, especially if three teams in particular aren’t able to bounce back from disappointing playoff exits.
Names like Donovan Mitchell (again), Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been connected to New York this summer, and those rumors could continue to get hotter over the next few months.
Ranking top 3 potential New York Knicks trade targets
Low: Donovan Mitchell
The Knicks had a chance to get Donovan Mitchell last summer but passed because of the Jazz’s high price. Contrary to the belief at the time, it didn’t set New York back. Look no further than the first round of the 2023 postseason for proof.
Mitchell’s eligible to sign an extension this offseason, but there’s a slim chance that’ll happen. He can’t sign a supermax extension because he was traded before he was able to hit seven years of NBA service. That, along with the Cavaliers’ early playoff exit, has put Cleveland in a tough position.
There’s speculation Mitchell still has his sights on New York. If the front office got him for a lower price than they could’ve last summer, the Knicks would still be in a position to contend for several years, as Mitchell just turned 27. It’d be a win-win move.
However, when considering New York’s other two options, there’s reason to believe Mitchell isn’t as high up on the priority list. As lethal as the Brunson-Mitchell duo could be on the offensive end, two other players better fit the Knicks’ needs.