Donovan Mitchell Rumors: Knicks, Jazz Not Ruling out Trade After RJ Barrett Contract

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2022

Donovan Mitchell (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks' decision to finalize a four-year contract extension with forward RJ Barrett has reportedly brought an end to the team's trade talks with the Utah Jazz for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, at least for now.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Barrett had been a key piece in the Mitchell discussions, but his new contract includes a poison-pill provision, which means the sides would have to "start over talks with significantly different considerations."

Nevertheless, neither the Knicks nor Jazz have ruled out circling back to the Mitchell talks before the 2022-23 NBA season gets underway, per Woj.

New York decided to agree on Barrett's extension, which is worth up to $120 million, after there was a lack of progress toward a Mitchell deal.

The teams couldn't come to terms about the number of unprotected first-round picks the Knicks were going to include, as well as whether guard Quentin Grimes would be part of the deal alongside Barrett, per Woj.

Given the fact the sides were still working through numerous hurdles, the chance of an agreement now that Barrett's involvement has its own issues is greatly diminished.

Only one player, the Dallas Mavericks' Devin Harris in 2008, has been traded while having an active poison-pill provision in their contract, according to Woj. That part of the new deal expires next offseason on July 1.

So, while it's still possible the teams could make a deal, it's either going to take great concessions from the Knicks or a severely reduced asking price by the Jazz.

One thing working to New York's advantage is the fact Utah isn't "seriously engaged" with any other team on the Mitchell trade front, per Woj.

In turn, if the Jazz are fully focused on going full speed ahead with a rebuild this summer after previously dealing Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, they have no choice but to consider a different framework for a Mitchell blockbuster.

The three-time All-Star is under contract through 2024-25 with a player option for 2025-26 as part of a five-year, $163 million deal, however, so there's no real time pressure on Utah to make a deal.

Barrett's extension makes it more likely Mitchell remains with the Jazz to open the new campaign, and it's possible the Knicks re-evaluate the situation next summer when Barrett's contract becomes more tradeable, depending on how the season goes.

For now, it appears things are at a standstill with less than two months until the regular season tips off.


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