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NBA Rumors: Knicks Believed Donovan Mitchell Could Help Them Land Another Star

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 8, 2022

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks reportedly saw Donovan Mitchell as a conduit to other superstars around the NBA.

"He seems to be friends with the entire league. One of the big reasons New York wanted to trade for him, beyond his on-court ability, was the belief that he could attract another star to play with him. Mitchell is engaging and easy to get along with," Tony Jones of The Athletic wrote.

The Knicks were the team most often linked to a Mitchell trade before the Utah Jazz surprisingly sent the three-time All-Star to Cleveland for a massive haul of young talent and future draft picks.

New York and Utah negotiated down to the wire, but the Knicks ultimately took themselves out of the running when they inked RJ Barrett to a four-year contract extension worth up to $120 million.

Mitchell could have been a building block as the Knicks attempt to build a playoff team, but he is clearly not the best player on a championship contender. The Jazz built an excellent all-around roster with Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and consistently found themselves ousted earlier than expected from the playoffs.

Mitchell is a second banana on a championship contender, which may have informed why the Knicks pulled out of trade talks. While he may have strong relationships with other players around the league, Utah was asking for a seismic haul that would have limited the Knicks' ability to find a true 1A star.

Given the Cavs are much closer to contention than the Knicks and play in a far smaller market, their all-in push for Mitchell makes more practical sense.

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