The New York Knicks will reportedly need to pay a high price in order to acquire All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in a trade with the Utah Jazz.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Tim Bontemps and Tim MacMahon discussed the Jazz's asking price Friday on The Hoop Collective podcast, with predictions ranging from three first-round picks and other assets to an even bigger haul of first-rounders.
"I doubt the Knicks are going to get Mitchell for less than five firsts," Windhorst said.
The Knicks have been the team most often linked to Mitchell since ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday the Jazz were "now showing a willingness to listen on possible trade scenarios" involving their franchise cornerstone.
Utah signaled a potential full-scale rebuild when it traded center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a quartet of first-round picks and a pick swap.
A blockbuster involving Mitchell would be the next step in that process, but it's hard to imagine he'd be moved unless the Jazz receive an offer at least as lucrative as the Gobert deal.
The 25-year-old New York native has averaged 23.9 points, 4.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 threes and 1.3 steals in 345 appearances across five seasons in Utah. He was named to the 2018 NBA All-Rookie first team and has earned three All-Star selections.
While Mitchell would represent the type of offensive cornerstone the Knicks have typically lacked since peak Carmelo Anthony, the asking price is a concern.
SNY's Ian Begley reported Wednesday the team's front office has been "wary" of dealing multiple players and picks for a player of Mitchell's caliber because there may not be "enough left on the roster to field a contending team."
First-round picks are valuable, even for a contender, because it's a way to add cost-effective depth to a roster. Trading them all away for the foreseeable future to acquire one player can create major roster-building issues down the line.
That said, the Knicks' front office is facing pressure. They endured a highly disappointing 2021-22 season that saw the team miss the playoffs with a 37-45 record after ending a seven-year postseason drought the previous campaign.
Acquiring Mitchell would provide a spark, especially in terms of fan engagement, but whether it's the right move for the club's long-term outlook is up for debate, especially if five-plus first-rounders are required to get the deal done.