In recent days, trade talks have heated up surrounding Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. The one team that has continued to be connected to Mitchell is the New York Knicks.
Mitchell, a three-time All-Star, has become one of the NBA’s premier young stars. He is coming off of a 2021-22 season that was arguably the best of his short career. He averaged 25.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 5.3 APG. He also shot 44.8% from the field and 35.5% from three.
Donovan Mitchell now has career averages of 23.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 4.5 APG. Through 345 career games, he is shooting 44.1% from the field and 36.1% from three.
The Knicks, who have been in search of a star in recent years, could be the perfect place for Mitchell. They are also one of the few teams that could give the Jazz what they want in return. Between their draft capital and overall young players on the roster, they could build a perfect trade package.
After adding point guard Jalen Brunson in free agency, the Knicks could be in a position to win now. They also added center Isaiah Hartenstein who could be a valuable piece.
The Knicks will now have a core of RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and Jalen Brunson. They will also have solid depth with players like Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, and Hartenstein.
At least one of this core could be included in a trade for Mitchell. But the Knicks could still potentially form a package that could exclude any of this newly constructed core.
Here are two reasons the Jazz must trade Mitchell to the Knicks
Donovan Mitchell Trade To Knicks
2. A clean reset for the Jazz
After the recent trade of Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have shown that they are willing to make big trades. They are also already stocking up on draft picks and young players.
The Gobert trade netted the Jazz four-first round picks and multiple players. Utah gained Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Walker Kessler. Kessler, who was a first-round pick in last month's draft, is just 20 years old.
The Jazz have already accumulated three first-round picks in the 2023 draft. Between 2023 and 2029, Utah has a total of 12 first-round picks. A potential Donovan Mitchell trade would net them even more.
Utah also already has six players 23 years old or younger. While a Mitchell trade could potentially lead to some rough seasons, they could eventually build a dynasty.
The Jazz could even take a page out of the Oklahoma City Thunder handbook. The Thunder have put together one of the league's best young cores. They have also accumulated a profound amount of draft picks.
Getting as many picks as possible could do two things for the Jazz. It either gives them the best opportunity to take risks with who they pick. This gives them a bigger draft pool which wides the chance to find a star.
It could also allow for them to trade for multiple elite players. After the departure of Gobert, the Jazz are already lacking star power. If they are in search of a reset, moving on from Mitchell will give them the ability to try again
1. The Knicks can offer young pieces
The Knicks can offer the Jazz more draft picks than almost any other team at the moment. New York currently has 11 first-round picks between now and 2029. Four of these selections come in the first round of the 2023 draft.
After looking at what the cost was to get Rudy Gobert, Mitchell going for something similar isn't unrealistic. Even the recent trade centered around Dejounte Murray cost the Atlanta Hawks multiple first-round picks.
Many people believe that the starting price for Mitchell could be four-first-round picks. Some people around the NBA think the Jazz could be in search of anywhere around seven-first-round picks.
With a roster consisting of young players such as Cam Reddish, Quentin Grimes, and Miles McBride, the Knicks could also give the Jazz talented young players. Any of these players could be long-term pieces for Utah.
As previously noted, the Thunder could be the perfect template for the Jazz to follow. In last month's draft, Oklahoma City was able to select two players in the first 12 selections, and three total in the first round. Their three-first-rounders, plus their second-round pick, could all become elite talents.
The Thunder's high number of draft picks allowed them to be flexible in the draft. Utah taking this path could be exactly what they need to do. But this is only possible if they also trade away Mitchell.