If the New York Knicks do make a trade for Donovan Mitchell, head coach Tom Thibodeau reportedly has a preference for which of the team’s young players should be included.
Per Marc Berman of the New York Post, there is a belief around the NBA that Thibodeau would prefer to include RJ Barrett in a deal instead of Quentin Grimes.
According to Berman, Thibodeau believes Grimes is a better suited to his plan due to his defensive presence and three-point shooting.
Berman noted Utah Jazz CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge is “hot” to add Grimes as part of his rebuilding plan for the franchise.
Previously, Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic reported that Knicks and Jazz re-started the conversation around a potential deal for Donovan Mitchell.
Not including Grimes in the trade, however, might be a deal-breaker for the Utah Jazz. RJ Barrett is eligible for a rookie scale extension.
The Knicks are not sure Barrett deserves a max extension, and the Utah Jazz might end up going forward in a full-fledged rebuild if they trade Mitchell.
Grimes was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2021 draft and has two team option years left on his rookie contract before hitting restricted free agency after the 2024-25 season.