Donovan Mitchell remains a top target for the New York Knicks this offseason and the franchise will do everything to land him.
Since mid-July, the Knicks and the Utah Jazz are in talks for a blockbuster trade, yet there is still no significant progress.
Following the Rudy Gobert trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves for five players and four first-round picks, the Jazz have extremely high demands when it comes to the 25-year-old superstar guard.
Fortunately for them, the Knicks have a plethora of players and first-round picks and pick swaps available to construct a package.
The Knicks can construct the best package for Donovan Mitchell
According to Bleacher Report, aside from RJ Barrett, who is untouchable at the moment, other players that could be included in the deal are Evan Fournier ($18M), Derrick Rose ($14.5M), Cam Reddish ($5.9M) and Obi Toppin ($5.3M).
Probably all of them, or at least the majority of them, will be included in the deal, as the Jazz ask for several players in return. As for first-round picks, the Knicks could send up to eight to Utah and land Mitchell.
At the moment, the franchise owns four first-round picks and they own another four, acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards, respectively.
Utah has reportedly asked for seven first-round picks, but the Knicks have declined the offer. Talks remain ongoing, though.
New York will continue negotiating with Utah, as they consider Mitchell a player that will make them a championship contender.
Donovan Mitchell prefers to join the Knicks and play in front of his hometown crowd
With the Jazz not in playoff contention next season, Donovan Mitchell could seek a move elsewhere. So a return to his hometown would make perfect sense for the All-Star guard.
What makes the Knicks the favorites in a Mitchell trade is that they offer him a great opportunity to return to his hometown.
The son of a Mets executive (Donovan Mitchell Sr. works for the team as their senior director of player relations and community outreach), Mitchell is a New York native that feels at home when playing at Madison Square Garden.
At the same time, Knicks fans view Donovan Mitchell as the leader that will turn New York into a championship contender while playing in front of his hometown crowd.
Donovan Mitchell is also linked to the Knicks’ staff and front office members. He is friends with newly-acquired guard Jalen Brunson from their time at NCAA, while his former agent, Leon Rose, is now the Knicks’ president.
Mitchell is also friends with Knicks assistant coach Johnnie Bryant from their days together at the Jazz. At the same time, his agency is CAA, which Rose once ran.
The addition of Donovan Mitchell is what the Knicks focus on, aiming to return to the postseason next year. The franchise knows that pairing Mitchell with Brunson will give them the superstar power they seek to have a championship run.
Donovan Mitchell averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists last season and has four years and $134,8m left on his current contract.