When the Suns matched the Pacers’ offer form for Deandre Ayton on Thursday, the move increased the likelihood that Donovan Mitchell will end with the Knicksaccording to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (cap tip to Adam Zagoria in a piece for NJ.com).
Windhorst explained that there were scenarios where Mitchell could have gone to the Nets and… Kevin Durant could have ended in Phoenix in a three- or four-team trade. With Ayton ineligible to move until January 15, those potential deals are off the table.
“So I think this takes the Knicks even further into the favorite spot for” Donovan Mitchell” said Windhorst. “It really is a matter of negotiation. The Knicks are very interested, they talk to the Jazzbut the Jazz have an extremely high bar that they set early in these conversations and it’s really just a matter of how much they can make the Knicks pay.”
A report on Friday put that price at three young players and six first-round picks. New York countered that offer, and no progress in trade talks has been cited since then.
There’s more news about a potential Mitchell deal:
- ESPN’s Tim MacMahon thinks Mitchell will likely end up in New York, but negotiations could take some time, Zagoria said in the same story. MacMahon points out that Utah is focused on getting concept assets to help rebuild, and that the Knicks will own 11 first-rounders over the next seven years. He adds that team president Leon Rose must be careful not to bid against himself while the teams work out the details of a transaction.
- Mitchell heard many calls from Knicks fans during a performance Saturday at a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Mitchell threw the first pitch and took batting practice with the minor league-team, but declined to speculate about trade talks. “We’re not talking about basketball”, he told reporters. “Nobody’s talking about basketball.”
- In a separate story, Braziller talks to an NBA scout who thinks the price is too high for Mitchell, having never led the Jazz past the second round of the playoffs. Another competition source agrees, wondering if Mitchell is too much like the addition of a free agent Jalen Brunson to form an effective backcourt.
- Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News is exploring options to get Mitchell to New York, including a package based on design choices, another package that revolves around RJ Barrett and possible deals for multiple teams.