To be fair to the New York Knicks, they did do everything they can to try and trade for Donovan Mitchell. In the end, however, their efforts proved futile after the Utah Jazz decided to accept a trade offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.
A couple of ESPN’s NBA insiders in Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks recently shared their two cents on the blockbuster deal on The Lowe Post podcast. They pointed out that a dire move by the Knicks even before trade negotiations commenced may have had a significant impact on the talks between the two teams.
Apparently, the Jazz didn’t like how a couple of high-ranking Knicks executives attended the playoffs series between Utah and the Dallas Mavericks (h/t NBA reddit):
“That did not go over well with Utah officials,” Lowe said. “That was poorly received. I’m not saying it colored the trade negotiations here because I don’t think anybody makes those type of emotional decisions 3 months later, but it did not engender good will as this unfolded.”
Marks echoed Lowe’s thoughts, saying that this was an unprecedented move by the Knicks:
“I’ve never seen it happen before,” Marks added. “Where executives roll up for a playoff game. I’ve never seen that happen before.”
For what it’s worth, the main focus of the Knicks’ attention at that time was Jalen Brunson. While they succeeded in bringing him to New York via free agency (the Mavs pretty much had no say in the matter), it seemed that this move may have backfired on them on the Donovan Mitchell front.
As Lowe pointed out, however, this was by no means the end-all and be-all of the botched deal. It’s hard to deny, however, that the Knicks may have already shot themselves in the foot with this move even before they came to the negotiation table with the Jazz.