Utah Jazz goaltender Donovan Mitchell could be traded by next month.
The team would be looking to move Mitchell before NBA training camps open in late September, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his podcast.
“[Tim] MacMahon, you said I believe last week that you thought the Jazz would trade Donovan Mitchell before the [regular season] opener,” Windhorst said. “And it seems to me, talking to people in the league, that the Jazz want to try to go even earlier than that. They want to go before training camp.
“…It looks like I’m talking to people in the league that the Jazz are trying to apply the gas here,” Windhorst continued. “To try to take advantage of the offer, especially the New York Knicks offer.”
The Knicks have been the subject of Mitchell trade speculation from the start, and now it looks like they’re the only realistic suitor left standing.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who were also talking with the Jazz about a deal with Mitchell, have pulled out of talks for the star guard, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. The Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets were also participated in discussions for Mitchell as recently as July 29, but it’s unclear if any real offers are or were on the table. The Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat are other possible destinations, according to Begley, but neither is able to offer the best deal.
“…some members of the Nets organization like where the roster is right now and don’t feel the sense or urgency to pursue Mitchell,” Begley wrote. “Miami would likely need to hire a third team to produce enough draft capital to satisfy Utah. The Heat can currently trade three future first-round picks.”
So, if Begley is to be believed, that leaves the Knicks the last team with the wherewithal and motivation to pull the trigger on a trade for Mitchell. The Knicks and Jazz have apparently been talking for months, but now it looks like the Knicks could offer RJ Barrett in any trade package for Mitchell, according to Begley.
Utah is likely looking for a package similar to what they received when they traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves: multiple first-round picks and a few role players. The Jazz have already traded one of the players they received as part of the deal – guard Patrick Beverley – and now appear to be keen to get the ball rolling on a Mitchell trade as soon as possible.
Whether or not the Knicks bite is entirely up to Leon Rose and general manager Scott Perry. A Mitchell and Jalen Brunson backcourt sounds good, but not if they’re the only two players left standing when the dust settles on what the Knicks sent the Jazz.
At the very least, though, it looks like the only thing standing between the New York Knicks and a trade for Donovan Mitchell is, well, the Knicks. And now there’s a hypothetical deadline for closing the deal on either side.