Last week, the New York Knicks-Donovan Mitchell saga finally came to an end, but it wasn’t the ending many expected. In a stunning turn of events, the 25-year-old was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Danny Ainge and the Utah Jazz were able to get what they were looking for from another Eastern team.
Ainge was looking for three unprotected first-round picks, which the Knicks apparently didn’t offer, but the Cavaliers did. However, that doesn’t mean Utah got a better overall offer from Cleveland, as it was reported that New York offered a package consisting of RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, two unprotected first-round picks and a couple of protected choices and choice swaps.
Say what? And Ainge refused? That in itself shows that the Jazz were trying to get the most out of the Knicks. Honestly, it’s an offer every New York fan should be grateful for that Utah doesn’t I accept.
The Knicks reportedly offered the Jazz a big package for Donovan Mitchell
For reference, here’s what Utah got in return for Cleveland: Collin Sexton (via sign and trade), Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, a 2025 first-round pick, a 2026 pick trade, a first round in 2027, a trade pick in 2028 and a first round pick in 2029.
From what the Knicks reportedly offered, Fournier was the least desirable player included in the deal since the Jazz were looking for younger players. However, Utah should have been happy with Barrett, Toppin and two unprotected picks. With the Jazz fully embracing the rebuilding period after trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in early July, you’d think Ainge would jump at the chance to get both Barrett and Toppin instead of a no-no third pick. protected.
As mentioned, it’s a good thing for New York that Utah didn’t accept the offer. The Knicks then signed Barrett to a four-year, $120 million extension, meaning the poison pill provision would have made it difficult to include the 22-year-old in a trade with the Knicks. Jazz.
New York not negotiating for Donovan Mitchell does not set the Knicks back as many have assumed, and if Utah had accepted the above offer from the Knicks, it likely would have set the organization back.
However, New York should never have been willing to part ways to get Mitchell. It looks like Donovan Mitchell’s failed trade was a blessing in disguise for the Knicks. Due to the young core of the team, as well as the addition of Jalen Brunson, the future is still bright in New York.