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#pounditSaturday, November 26, 2022

Report: Knicks’ pursuit of Donovan Mitchell stalls for 1 big reason

Donovan Mitchell looks on

Jan 16, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have been consistent in their pursuit of a Donovan Mitchell trade, but with September looming, no deal has happened. That is apparently due to one specific reason.

The Knicks are balking at the number of unprotected first-round picks the Utah Jazz are asking for in Mitchell talks, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Jazz president Danny Ainge is reportedly demanding four unprotected first-round picks in a Mitchell trade, while the Knicks have been unwilling to offer more than two.

The Knicks and Jazz have not had to do much haggling over the players involved. That aspect of the deal is not believed to be a major issue in the stalled progress.

The Jazz are maintaining a high asking price because they set the market earlier in the offseason. By getting three unprotected first-round selections for Rudy Gobert, the Jazz essentially blew up the trade market. Mitchell is going to be viewed as a better player than Gobert, so the Jazz have little incentive to back off on their demands after getting what they got for Gobert.

The two sides do appear to be talking at this stage, but nothing is close. That is not going to change until one side shows a willingness to compromise on the question of unprotected picks.

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