Despite failing to acquire their top targets last summer, the New York Knicks still haven’t given up on their dream of adding a legitimate NBA superstar to their roster. When the 2019-20 NBA season is over, the Knicks are once again expected to be aggressive on the market, searching for All-Star caliber players who could lead them back to title contention. One of the superstars who is currently being linked to the Knicks is Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz.
With the ongoing issue between him and teammate Rudy Gobert, there is indeed a realistic chance that Mitchell may consider finding his way out of the Jazz in the 2020 NBA offseason. However, to convince the Jazz to part ways with Mitchell, interested teams would likely be needing to pay a king’s ransom. To acquire Mitchell from the Jazz, an anonymous league executive who spoke to Ian Begley of SportsNet New York said that the Knicks should be willing to give up a trade package that includes RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and two future first-round picks.
“So if Mitchell fits that billing, what could a potential trade package look like? An opposing team executive tells Begley that any package that doesn’t involve Mitchell Robinson or RJ Barrett and two future first-round picks would probably be a non-starter for Utah. Robinson, meanwhile, wouldn’t be much of a fit for Utah with Gobert still in the mix, so the exec speculated that a package of Barrett and two unprotected firsts would get New York in the conversation for Mitchell. Utah would need to add roughly $2 million in salary to make the math work.”
Trading young and talented players like Barrett and Robinson alongside multiple first-round picks is undeniably a tough decision for the Knicks, but it would be worth it if it means acquiring a player of Mitchell’s caliber. Though it is still too early to put Mitchell on the same level as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, and James Harden, he’s definitely on the right path to becoming a legitimate NBA superstar and has already proven his ability to lead a team.
The potential acquisition of Mitchell won’t make the Knicks an instant title contender, but it would be a huge step forward for a franchise that has been rotting at the bottom of the league for years. If they succeed in acquiring Mitchell and surround him with quality players that complement his game, the Knicks have a strong chance of becoming a relevant team in the Eastern Conference once again.