NBA writer predicts potential Knicks trade target will stay with current team

His future will be one of the storylines of the summer.
New York Knicks, Leon Rose
New York Knicks, Leon Rose / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The trade rumor mill will be in full swing over the summer. You can bet that the New York Knicks will be linked to every available star, even if the organization hasn't expressed serious interest in the player. That happens when you're the Knicks and have a treasure chest of draft assets.

There's one player who will either put the trade rumors to bed or cause them to heat up even more. Donovan Mitchell didn't sign an extension with the Cavaliers before the season, but he'll have another opportunity to do so this summer. If he doesn't, he'll have two full seasons left on his current contract, with one of those seasons being a $37 million player option in 2025-26.

Mitchell is currently out with a left knee bone bruise, an injury that has kept him sidelined for seven straight games. Cleveland is still the third-best team in the East with a 41-24 record, three games ahead of New York. Like the Knicks, the Cavaliers have stayed afloat amid injuries to key players.

How the rest of the season plays out could determine if Mitchell signs an extension, whether it be a short-term extension or a max extension. Sam Amico predicts that the All-Star guard will sign a max extension to stay with the Cavaliers because he's repeatedly been told that Mitchell is "happy" in Cleveland.

Senior NBA writer predicts Donovan Mitchell will sign max extension with Cavaliers

Mitchell hasn't given any indication that he's unhappy in Cleveland. Even though he thought he would be traded to New York, he's embraced Cleveland. Even with the never-ending Knicks rumors, he's remained professional.

However, as Amico noted, the rest of the season will likely factor into Mitchell's decision. The Cavaliers were a first-round exit last year, thanks to the Knicks. If a similar outcome occurs in 2024, who knows what direction the guard will want to take?

Even if Mitchell doesn't sign an extension and Cleveland listens to trade offers for him, there's no guarantee New York would be the most aggressive team in conversations. There's no guarantee that the Knicks would still be interested in him. It's a safe bet to assume the front office will at least explore a Mitchell trade, as they'd be doing a disservice if not.

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