Laying out a Donovan Mitchell trade
OG Anunoby will be a tremendous addition to the New York Knicks' defense, and as a replacement for RJ Barrett he is a significant upgrade to the starting lineup. The issue, however, is that Anunoby is a lower-usage player than Barrett, and those shots have to come from somewhere. That's before you factor in the loss of Immanuel Quickley, the Knicks' second-best offensive player and creator and playmaker.
The Knicks aren't going to scare any Eastern Conference contenders if stopping their offense is as simple as doubling Jalen Brunson and forcing Julius Randle to go one-on-one. The Knicks need another shot creator, and ideally a really good one. That's why going after someone like Donovan Mitchell appears to still be in the card for the Knicks.
What would a trade look like? It would almost certainly have to include either Julius Randle or another rotation player paired with Evan Fournier's expiring contract. Quentin Grimes is close to a lock to be included as well, as with Quickley gone he is the Knicks' only remaining prospect with value. Sprinkle in some picks, cook at 375 for a week or two, and voila:
Would this be enough to entice the Cleveland Cavaliers, assuming they are willing to come to the table and entertain trading Mitchell in the first place? It might, as none of these first-round picks are obviously bad, and Grimes is a great fit on nearly any roster.
The issue would be that neither Fournier nor Mitchell Robinson are likely to help the Cavaliers this season, with Fournier relegated to the bench for two seasons now and Robinson out for the season. The Cavs may demand Josh Hart or Donte DiVincenzo as a player who can help them more now, or they may demand a third team be pulled into the deal to route Fournier or Robinson to in exchange for a player who can help now.
Let's assume the Cavs either accept this deal or that a three-team deal can be found with the Knicks sending out these players and picks and getting back Donovan Mitchell. Is this a deal worth making?