The New York Knicks kicked off NBA trade season Saturday, sending RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Toronto Raptors for OG Anunoby in a move that could have major implications for the Brooklyn Nets.

The Knicks and Nets have been rumored landing spots if the Cleveland Cavaliers were to trade star guard Donovan Mitchell. However, Barrett and Quickley were viewed as the centerpieces for such a package. With both players out the door, New York is not expected to aggressively pursue Mitchell, according to Marc Stein.

“Initial indications are that the Knicks do not intend to mount an all-out pursuit of Donovan Mitchell,” Stein reported following the move.

While Stein noted the Cavaliers have signaled to rival teams that they aren't entertaining offers for Mitchell, reporting that has been confirmed by ClutchPoints' Brett Siegel, Cleveland will be forced to make a decision on the four-time All-Star in the next calendar year.

Donovan Mitchell's situation with Cavs

Donovan Mitchell looking sad

Mitchell is under contract for $34.8 million next season before a $37 million player option in 2025-26, which he is expected to decline. There is widespread belief that the 27-year-old will not sign an extension with Cleveland after next season.

“Donovan Mitchell's long-term future with the franchise looms large. He can sign a lucrative contract extension over the summer, but could have last summer and there was no movement toward a deal between the two sides,” Shams Charania and Joe Vardon wrote on Dec. 15. “If he won’t commit to the Cavs beyond the next season, the team would likely have to trade him.”

With the Knicks setting their sights elsewhere, the Nets and Miami Heat should top the list of Mitchell destinations if Cleveland begins fielding offers. Miami is in the market for a lead guard after missing out on Damian Lillard this summer. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has been a candidate to re-enter the star conversation since trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at last year's deadline.

Nets' potential Donovan Mitchell trade offer

Donovan Mitchell Nets rumors

Mitchell, a New York native, has long expressed interest in returning to play in his hometown. The Nets could build a package around 6-foot-8 sharpshooter Cam Johnson and/or emerging guard Cam Thomas. After trading Durant and Irving, Brooklyn is armed with seven tradable first-round picks, including three distant unprotected firsts from Phoenix (2027, 2029) and Dallas (2029), which should be highly coveted.

The team also has several veterans, such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Royce O'Neale and Spencer Dinwiddie, as well as a young budding center in Nic Claxton, who could be sent to Cleveland or used to fetch additional capital in a three-team deal. Pairing Mitchell with breakout forward Mikal Bridges, both of whom are 27 years old, would give the Nets an extended window to find another star piece and fill out the rest of the roster.

Bidding war with Heat?

Heat, Jazz, Donovan Mitchell

Miami has intriguing young pieces in Tyler Herro, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jović to include in a package. However, Jacquez has been among the NBA's top rookies this season, averaging 13.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 50/35/85 shooting splits. It's unclear whether the Heat would include him in a deal.

Miami can only offer their 2028 and 2030 first-round picks. However, they could get to three first-round picks by negotiating with the Oklahoma City Thunder to push back the year of a first-rounder they owe in 2025.

Brooklyn should have the capital to edge out Miami if the two teams were to enter a bidding war. However, it remains to be seen what lengths Nets general manager Sean Marks would go to acquire the Cleveland guard if he is made available. Mitchell could also impact negotiations by dictating which teams he will and won't sign with long-term.

The 2024 trade deadline is set for Feb. 8. While Cleveland insists Mitchell is not available, that is likely to change ahead of next season, and the Nets should be in the mix when it does.