El. Oh. El. Just when it seemed like the Donovan Mitchell trade saga would finally reach its conclusion after an interminable summer of waiting, Jazz president Danny Ainge decided to trade Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Full trade: Utah is trading Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland for Lauri Markkanen, Ochair Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 1, 2022
And thus ends the Donovan Mitchell trade saga — not with an MSG bang, but with a whimper coming from the direction of Cleveland. I would stay off social media — or any kind of sports media — for a couple of days.
I would like to point out, however, that the media was always prepared to clown the 2022-23 Knicks regardless of what happened with the Mitchell deal.
“Maybe they’ll get Donovan Mitchell. Maybe they won’t. Either way, the Knicks remain a long way from true contention”— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) September 1, 2022
— The Knicks finished 11th last season and the Athletic projects they will finish 12th next season: https://t.co/raMQj1nMVQ
Honestly, I don’t think this projection is too far off. Even if the Knicks had acquired Mitchell, and rolled out a starting five of Mitchell/Jalen Brunson/RJ Barrett/Julius Randle/Mitchell Robinson, that team would have some serious question marks. Would the undersized backcourt duo of Brunson and Mitchell be able to defend the perimeter? Would Randle totally suck butt again? Would there be enough shooting? I’ve said it before, but that unit smacked of several really annoying Knicks clubs of yore — teams with big name value and hype, composed of mismatched parts that would inevitably struggle on defense.
Donovan Mitchell is an extremely talented young player who wanted to come to New York, and it hurts that he won’t be throwing down highlight dunks at MSG in the orange and blue. He’ll probably kick ass in Cleveland. The Knicks probably won’t make the playoffs next season. Such is life. The Knicks still have some really fun young players, and a ton of draft picks. They’re on the right track.