Let the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes begin, and the Knicks could be one of the teams attempting to land the star.
After previously expressing little interest in trading their franchise player, the Utah Jazz appear to have changed their tenor. Tuesday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that “rival teams” indicate the Jazz are “showing a willingness to listen” to trade offers for Mitchell and are no longer “dismissing calls.”
The Knicks appear to be one of those teams and reportedly will try putting together a trade package to go after Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, according to The Athletic.
Mitchell, a three-time All-Star, averaged 25.9 points per game last season during his fifth year in the NBA, becoming one of the game’s prolific players in short order.
The Jazz suffered a first-round exit in this year’s playoffs and have since begun to decimate their roster. At the onset of free agency, Utah shipped starting forward Royce O’Neale to Brooklyn and unloaded Rudy Gobert — an All-NBA center who seldom got along with Mitchell — to Minnesota. Last year’s coach, Quin Snyder, resigned in June.
It’s unclear what a potential trade package for Mitchell would look like, though Wojnarowski reported the asking price to be “steep.” The Jazz received a stunning haul for Gobert that included four first-round picks and Walker Kessler, the No. 22 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft; it’s not far-fetched to imagine them demanding a similar return for Mitchell.
Speculation has long tied Mitchell to the Knicks, and the 25-year-old’s connections to New York are noteworthy. In April, a contingent of the Knicks’ brass — headlined by executive vice president William Wesley — sat courtside for Game 1 between Utah and Dallas. Knicks president Leon Rose is also one of Mitchell’s former agents.
Mitchell has taken batting practice at Citi Field prior to a number of Mets games this summer, as his father, Donovan Sr., is a long-time employee of the organization. And, in June, the Elmsford native was spotted having dinner with Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley.
Mitchell is entering the second year of a five-year, $163 million deal that includes an opt-out for 2025.