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Cavaliers Rumors: Donovan Mitchell Trade Talks End with Jazz amid Knicks Buzz

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 26, 2022

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Donovan Mitchell will not be a Cleveland Cavalier.

Ian Begley of SNY.tv reported the Cavaliers removed themselves from trade talks for the All-Star guard, leaving the deal as "the [New York Knicks'] to lose."

The Knicks have been engaged in trade talks with the Utah Jazz for several weeks, but it does not appear a deal is close at this time.

Utah has been seeking a combination of several future first-round picks and young talent for Mitchell, a New York native who would instantly be the Knicks' best player since Carmelo Anthony.

The Knicks can trade up to eight future first-round picks but appear hesitant to throw all their chips to the center of the table for Mitchell. Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic reported the Knicks offered five first-round picks (two unprotected), guard Evan Fournier and forward Obi Toppin.

Utah is reportedly seeking a "significant" upgrade from that offer.

The Cavaliers can't match the type of future picks already offered by the Knicks and are unlikely to make budding young stars Darius Garland or Evan Mobley available for trade. That alone was likely enough to take Cleveland out of the running.

The Knicks' combination of trade assets and their desire to land a franchise star make them an overwhelming favorite to eventually land Mitchell. That said, the hesitance of Leon Rose to throw the full boat at Utah is valid.

Mitchell turns 26 in September and has never made an All-NBA team or gotten past the second round of the playoffs. While he's four years older, the Jazz traded the far more decorated Rudy Gobert earlier this offseason for four future first-round picks (and 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler).

Gobert is the best defensive center of his generation and has three All-NBA selections on his resume. It's fair to wonder why it's a given that Mitchell would command more in a trade than his former teammate.

The Knicks would not have anything close to resembling a championship roster even with Mitchell in the fold. A core of Mitchell, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett and Jalen Brunson may be enough to be a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference, but they'd likely be in the bottom portion of that picture.

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