The New York Knicks were reportedly one of the few teams that the Utah Jazz were in contact with regarding a Donovan Mitchell trade. However, the talks seemingly fell through when the Knicks extended RJ Barrett to a long-term contract. Most trade talks with Mitchell revolved around a package with Barrett included. It seemed like the trade was as good as dead.
Well, perhaps it was never alive to begin with. A recent report by Marc Berman of the New York Post may shed some light on why a Donovan Mitchell trade never happened. According to Berman, Jazz GM Danny Ainge never wanted RJ Barrett in a deal. That's… surprising, to say the least.
“Contrary to a report, Jazz CEO Danny Ainge never ‘coveted' Barrett as a key part of a potential Donovan Mitchell trade. In fact, some believe Ainge would rather flip Barrett elsewhere for more picks and prospects.”
Depending on who you talk to, Barrett is either the best player on the Knicks or an overrated first-round bust. The Duke guard certainly has his moments as a scorer for the team. However, his dismal efficiency is likely what turned the Jazz off on acquiring Barrett. It's a bit surprising, though, that Ainge would rather flip Barrett for picks than trying him out with the team.
For now, though, any trade talks surrounding the Jazz and the Knicks will have to exclude RJ Barrett. There's still plenty of ways that the teams could do it. Will they pull the trigger on a Mitchell homecoming before the season starts?