Even if the Jazz decide to trade Donovan Mitchell, the Knicks might not be first in line to acquire him, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. A New York City native, Mitchell has been rumored as a prime Knicks target for some time. The Jazz have said they plan to keep Mitchell and rework the roster around him, but sources tell Begley that several teams believe he would be available at the right price.
However, there’s no guarantee that New York’s front office will meet that price. Sources close to the Knicks indicated to Begley before the draft that the team was reluctant to part with the mix of players and draft picks that would be necessary to land a talent like Mitchell, fearing that the remaining roster would be too thin to compete. Since then, New York has reached an agreement with free agent guard Jalen Brunson, but Begley doesn’t believe that will change the team’s philosophy toward a Mitchell trade.
There’s more from New York:
- The Knicks may have signed their top target this year by luring Brunson away from the Mavericks, but it’s still not clear that team president Leon Rose was the best choice to run the organization, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Rose and William Wesley were highly touted when they took over the Knicks because of their connections to the league’s top players. The results have been uninspiring, according to Bondy, as the team hasn’t landed a true star and has committed nearly $500MM in guaranteed money over the past two summers to an average roster.
- Brunson’s father, Knicks assistant coach Rick Brunson, has been telling friends for months that Jalen wanted to come to New York, but there were concerns about whether the team could create enough cap space to make a competitive offer, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Brunson family has a strong connection to Rose, but Jalen wasn’t willing to sign for less than his market value.
- The Knicks may have dodged a bullet when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving decided to sign with Brooklyn three years ago, suggests Steve Popper of Newsday. The Knicks pursued the two stars, but Popper believes they would have run into the same chaos the Nets are experiencing now.