In the wake of the agreement between the Jazz and Cavaliers on a trade that will send Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland, details are trickling in on what the Knicks – long rumored to be Mitchell’s top suitor – offered for the three-time All-Star.
Not every outlet is entirely in alignment on what the Knicks put on the table for Mitchell, but the various reports paint a pretty clear picture of what it would’ve taken for the Jazz to send the 25-year-old to New York. Here’s what a few key national and local reporters are saying:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
According to Wojnarowski, before extending RJ Barrett, the Knicks balked at including Quentin Grimes in a package that already featured Barrett, two unprotected first-round picks, the Bucks’ 2025 first-rounder (top-four protected), two second-round picks, two pick swaps, and a pair of expiring contracts from a third team.
When the Knicks wanted to replace Grimes in that package with Immanuel Quickley, the Jazz insisted on a third unprotected first-round pick, which the Knicks weren’t willing to give up, according to Wojnarowski, who says New York would’ve sent Evan Fournier and a first-round pick to a third team in order to spare Utah from having to take on Fournier’s multiyear contract.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Wojnarowski’s report is his claim that the Knicks made an offer in early July that would’ve included Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson (via sign-and-trade), and three unprotected first-round picks. When the Jazz turned down that proposal, Robinson re-signed with New York, which took him out of the mix for any further negotiations between the two teams.
Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports:
Goodwill’s intel is similar to Wojnarowski’s — he hears from sources that the Jazz and Knicks got close to a deal that would’ve included Barrett, Grimes, expiring contracts, two first-round picks, the Bucks’ 2025 pick, a pair of pick swaps, and two second-rounders. However, New York felt that price was too steep and decided to extend Barrett instead.
Marc Berman of The New York Post:
One of the Knicks’ last offers to Utah included two unprotected first-rounders and three conditional picks along with Barrett, according to Berman, who says it’s unclear whether the team was offering three unprotected first-rounders in permutations of the deal that didn’t include Barrett.
Berman suggests (via Twitter) that the Knicks withheld Grimes from all of their offers. That’s a little hard to believe, given how many different versions of deals the two sides discussed, but it sounds like New York wasn’t interested in adding the second-year guard as a sweetener to offers that already included Barrett and significant draft capital.
“(The Knicks) thought they had (Jazz CEO Danny) Ainge and Utah over the barrel,” one league source said to Berman. “They held back on best offers of picks and players and Danny got his three unprotected.”
Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News:
Bondy confirms that the Knicks weren’t willing to give up three unprotected first-round picks along with Barrett.
However, he says the team was open to moving any of its top prospects, including Grimes — again, presumably if they were going to include Grimes in certain iterations of their offer, the Knicks would’ve wanted to remove another asset or two.
Ian Begley of SNY.tv:
According to Begley, the Knicks did make offers for Mitchell that included three unprotected first-round picks, but Barrett wasn’t part of those packages.
Begley also reports that the Knicks offered different combinations of players in their proposals that featured two unprotected first-rounders and the Bucks’ lightly protected 2025 pick — some of those offers included Barrett and some didn’t (while Begley doesn’t confirm this, it sounds as if Grimes was probably put into some offers that didn’t include Barrett).
At one point, Begley writes, the Jazz asked for a package that included Barrett, Evan Fournier, three unprotected first-rounders, additional draft picks, and at least one other young Knick player. New York opted not to meet that price.
It’s worth noting that the Knicks themselves are likely to be one of the primary sources leaking these after-the-fact details. The Jazz wouldn’t have much incentive to leak packages that they could’ve had instead of Cleveland’s, whereas the Knicks may be hoping to convey the impression they made a strong play for Mitchell and made fair proposals.
With that in mind, it’s worth taking these reports with a grain of salt — it’s possible a key detail or two is being omitted. Still, there’s a pretty consistent message that the Knicks were, at the very least, willing to trade Barrett, two unprotected first-round picks, and some additional draft compensation for Mitchell.
It will be fascinating to follow the trajectories of Barrett and new Jazz players like Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji in the coming years to assess whether Utah made the right call by passing on the Knicks’ offers and pulling the trigger on the Cavs’ deal.