Donovan Mitchell’s tenure with the Utah Jazz has reportedly come to a close. But the electric star guard isn’t heading back home to the New York Knicks, his presumed destination ever since news broke in July that Utah was looking to trade him. The Cleveland Cavaliers came out of nowhere to win the Mitchell sweepstakes, sending Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and rookie Ochai Agbaji to Utah along with three future first-round picks and a pair of pick swaps.

That’s an incredibly hefty price to pay for any player, let alone one who’s a tricky fit next to Cavaliers All-Star point Darius Garland on both sides. Cleveland general manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert clearly believe Mitchell’s presence is worth sacrificing all that future draft capital and spending flexibility, though, giving the Cavaliers an extremely intriguing core of Mitchell, Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen that’s ready to compete for the playoffs right now and possesses a championship ceiling going forward.

What does this stunning turn of events mean for the Knicks? Well, let’s just say the immediate reaction of New York faithful wasn’t exactly calm and composed.

Some league followers couldn’t help but notice that New York officially announced RJ Barrett’s contract extension moments after news broke of Mitchell’s trade to Cleveland. Could that be a coincidence? Considering terms of Barrett’s contract were initially reported a few days ago, most think not.

Still, other Knicks fans reacted to losing out on Mitchell in a more measured, level-headed manner. After all, Jazz CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge got another king’s ransom for Mitchell after receiving the same from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Rudy Gobert earlier this summer.

With Barrett, Jalen Brunson and promising young players like Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickly in the fold, maybe the best thing for New York was seeing Mitchell traded elsewhere?

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Of course, just because Mitchell was dealt to the Cavaliers hardly means he’s entrenched with the wine and gold forever. His dreams of starring in a big market are well known, and Mitchell takes pride in his New York roots. Might Cleveland be a pitstop on his ultimate journey back to Manhattan?

Cue the rumor mill for 2025, when Mitchell can first become a free agent—unless he finds a new, permanent home with the upstart Cavaliers.