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Woj: Knicks Are 'Motivated Suitor' for Donovan Mitchell; Trade Talks in Early Stages

Erin WalshJuly 15, 2022

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

After moving Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz are open to listening to offers for Donovan Mitchell, and it appears the New York Knicks are in the early stages of negotiating a deal for the veteran guard.

The Knicks are "very interested" in Mitchell and are a "motivated suitor" for his services, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

.<a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@wojespn</a> with the latest on Donovan Mitchell 👀<br><br>"New York is a motivated suitor." <a href="https://t.co/2kf0jvn2SF">pic.twitter.com/2kf0jvn2SF</a>

The Knicks have been interested in Mitchell for some time and have been piling up assets in order to make a run at an All-Star-caliber player. The franchise owns 11 first-round draft selections—eight of which are tradable—over the next seven years.

Utah is seeking a haul from the Knicks in exchange for Mitchell, with the franchise wanting Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin and six future first-round picks, Tony Jones of The Athletic reported on ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City (h/t RealGM).

Jones and Shams Charania reported Thursday that the Knicks were "the focused destination" for a Mitchell deal because New York can offer the most lucrative package of picks and young players.

However, the Knicks weren't interested in parting with all of those assets, though Wojnarowski did report Friday that talks between the two sides could resume at some point soon.

The Knicks have already made several changes this summer, parting ways with Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to create enough cap space to sign former Dallas Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson in free agency.

New York has also been rumored to be shopping Evan Fournier, and he could actually be dealt in a potential deal for Mitchell.

"In order to complete a trade, the Jazz would need to acquire a larger salary back from the Knicks as well," wrote Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. "Julius Randle, though, would likely not be that piece—Evan Fournier or Derrick Rose are more likely, a source said."

Adding Mitchell to a starting group that includes Brunson, R.J. Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson would make the Knicks a playoff contender and could potentially help the franchise get out of the first round for the first time since 2013.

The 25-year-old has been a star for Utah since 2017 and had a solid 2021-22 campaign, averaging 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 67 games while shooting 44.8 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from deep.

Mitchell would be a significant upgrade from Fournier, though it's not hard to see why the Knicks aren't willing to sell their entire future for him. They can at least afford to wait and see if Utah's asking price dips.

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