The Knicks are pursuing a trade for Donovan Mitchell, but they’re balking at Utah’s current asking price, Tony Jones of The Athletic said in an interview with ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City (hat tip to Real GM).
The Knicks have been stockpiling assets in hopes of landing a major star and currently own 11 first-round selections over the next seven years. They can part with up to eight of those first-rounders in a trade, notes Steve Popper of Newsday, but he wonders how many the organization would be willing to surrender, especially if it’s also giving up young talent.
Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune confirms that the Jazz are seeking a large return of draft assets from New York, along with players on rookie contracts, and he identifies Grimes as “perhaps the lead target” among players who could be included in the deal. Larsen adds that the Knicks don’t want to give away that much of their future, but they made a “significant” counter to Utah’s offer.
Multiple sources tell Larsen that RJ Barrett, the third pick in the 2019 draft, wasn’t part of the trade talks. Barrett is eligible for an extension to his rookie contract this offseason, and Utah isn’t eager to take on that expense.
The Jazz would have to take back at least one sizeable contract from New York to match Mitchell’s $30.35MM salary for next season. That probably won’t be Julius Randle ($23.76MM in 2022/23), according to one of Larsen’s sources, who says that Evan Fournier ($18MM) or Derrick Rose ($14.52MM) is more likely to be included.