RJ Barrett Hasn’t Been “Ruled Out” Of Donovan Mitchell Trade

Despite an agreement on a lucrative extension and significant complications from the “poison pill provision,” sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link via The Rally) that Knicks wing RJ Barrett could still be offered in a trade for Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.

It’s not expected that he is going to be ruled out of any potential trade, and I’m told through various sources that RJ Barrett could very well end up being in a potential deal and being in offers depending on the framework of a deal,” Charania said.

According to Charania, New York’s latest offer for Mitchell included Barrett and two unprotected first-round picks, but the Jazz wanted more in return for the three-time All-Star, so the Knicks wound up giving Barrett an extension.

As we outline in our glossary entry, a player who signs a rookie scale extension but remains on his rookie contract has different outgoing and incoming salary-matching figures, which is referred to as a “poison pill” — in Barrett’s case, the gap between his outgoing and incoming figures will reportedly exceed $15MM. That would make it extremely challenging for both the Knicks and Jazz to send out and take back a legal amount of salary if Barrett is part of a package for Mitchell.

As Charania notes, the Knicks still have other assets to include in a deal that doesn’t involve Barrett, with the Jazz reportedly prioritizing landing as many unprotected first-rounders as possible. New York remains “hopeful” that it can still land Mitchell without including Barrett, and wouldn’t have extended him if the team thought it would nix a potential deal, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post.

According to Berman, the Lakers are “open to discussions” about a potential three-team trade, and still have interest in Knicks wing Cam Reddish, who received scant playing time after being acquired from Atlanta in January. Charania previously reported that the Lakers are also interested in Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News reports (Twitter links) that Barrett’s extension is a straight four-year deal with no options and includes $107MM in guaranteed money. Barrett could earn as much as $120MM from incentives, but he’ll still be making an average of $26.75MM per season from 2023-27.

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