Donovan Mitchell Rumors: Knicks Open to RJ Barrett Trade, Cavs Interested

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 24, 2022

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks may have to include RJ Barrett in a potential trade for Donovan Mitchell if they are going to outbid other interested teams, and there are some within the organization who are reportedly willing to do just that.

Ian Begley of SNY reported the team's previous stance of not wanting to include the Duke product in the deal "has shifted" with some "open" to the idea.

This comes after Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Saturday that head coach Tom Thibodeau would prefer including Barrett over Quentin Grimes in any deal in large part because of the latter's defense and three-point shooting.

According to Berman, "Thibodeau is still keenly interested in making Mitchell a Knick."

Yet there may be some competition, with Begley reporting the Cleveland Cavaliers "touched base" with the Utah Jazz regarding a Mitchell deal. He also listed the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets as teams with previously reported interest.

Still, he called this situation "essentially the Knicks' trade to lose," especially since the Jazz are interested in Barrett to go with multiple first-round draft picks and someone from the group of Grimes, Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley.

Barrett is just 22 years old and is someone who could be a foundational piece for the Jazz as they shift into a rebuild after moving Rudy Gobert and perhaps Mitchell. Barrett averaged a career-best 20.0 points and 5.8 rebounds last season and could take even more strides with a bigger role in Utah.

It may be difficult to lose him from the Knicks' perspective, but Mitchell is a three-time All-Star who would arguably be their biggest star since Carmelo Anthony.

The combination of Mitchell, Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle could put New York in the playoffs and perhaps even convince other players to join the team down the line as it attempts to build a championship contender.

This is a Knicks franchise that has won a single playoff series since the 1999-00 season. That level of consistent failure surely doesn't sit well in such a major market, and Mitchell could help change it.

Even if making that happen costs the team Barrett.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.