Earlier this week, we reported that the Jazz supposedly had multiple offers for Donovan Mitchell that they liked from teams other than the Knicks. While it could have been true, it’s starting to look very likely that Danny Ainge and the Jazz were only saying that to drive up the price. Ian Begley tweeted on Friday that the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of few teams that were said to be interested in making a run at Mitchell, had removed themselves from trade talks. There are surely other teams that are still inquiring about Mitchell, But Begley went on to say that this trade is the Knicks’ to lose, as none of the suitors seem to have the assets necessary to complete this trade. Even without the inclusion of RJ Barrett, the Knicks should be able to field the best package.
Cleveland Cavaliers have removed themselves from Donovan Mitchell trade talks, per SNY sources. Doesn’t seem like there are any suitors at moment who can approach what Knicks can offer Utah - even if you take RJ Barrett off the table. So this trade is still NYK’s to lose.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 26, 2022
As many suspected, the Knicks remain in the driver’s seat, giving the Jazz very little leverage. Making things even more interesting, is a report heard earlier today on the Brian Windhorst and Hoop Collective podcast. Windhorst revealed that he’s heard from people around the league that the Jazz want to get a deal done before training camp. With 34 year-old Will Hardy (youngest active head coach in the league) getting ready to start his first season as a coach, it seems like the Jazz are ready to go all-in on a rebuild. If that is really the case, then it seems like it is the Jazz — not the Knicks — who are in a hurry to get this done.
As Utah ramps up trade talks in an attempt to move on from this situation as quickly as possible, the Knicks cannot fall into the trap of what Alan Hahn calls the “New York tax” (explained below) where teams try to justify ridiculous trade demands because of what a star could mean to a New York team given the city’s media and market.
The Jazz will continue with their shenanigan and try to pressure the Knicks through the media, but Rose, as he has done all summer, needs get a deal done without giving up too much. As badly the Knicks and their front office want Mitchell, it is becoming overwhelmingly clear that it is the Jazz who are looking to get this done as soon as possible.