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Donovan Mitchell Rumors: 'Knicks Know No One Is Coming Close to Them' in Trade Talks

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2022

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The New York Knicks believe they're in a position of power in Donovan Mitchell talks.

Fred Katz of The Athletic reported the Knicks "know no one is coming close to them" as the Utah Jazz continue to explore trading their All-Star guard.

The Knicks have long been seen as the front-runner for Mitchell, a New York native who spent much of his early childhood in the city.

Equipped with as many as eight future first-round picks to trade, Knicks President of Basketball Operations Leon Rose has more than enough assets to complete a trade right now. That said, it's clear the Knicks do not want to throw all of their future assets into a Mitchell trade and repeat the same mistake they made 11 years prior with Carmelo Anthony.

Like Mitchell, Anthony was a New York native spinning his wheels on a mediocre Western Conference team. The Knicks went all-in to acquire the All-Star forward and pair him with Amar'e Stoudemire, but the results proved largely disappointing. New York never made it past the second round of the playoffs with Anthony, thanks in large part to an inability to surround him with talent.

The Knicks know Mitchell alone is not enough to create a perennial contender. Mitchell's Jazz teams had the NBA's best defensive big man in Rudy Gobert and a strong complement of veteran role players who fit Quin Snyder's system. They still continually fell short in the playoffs, never making it past the second round and exiting in the first three of the last four years.

Cashing in every future draft pick would consign the Knicks to a similar fate—if not worse given they have no player of Gobert's caliber to pair with Mitchell. New York is coming off a 37-45 campaign that saw its best player, Julius Randle, feud with fans and disappoint under the spotlight of expectations. A core of Mitchell, Randle and RJ Barrett isn't scratching the surface of competing against the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks' best hope is that they remain the clubhouse leader with the best offer in place—one that allows them to acquire Mitchell and gives them enough breathing room to add another co-star in the future.

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