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#pounditSaturday, September 23, 2023

Report: Knicks frustrated with Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge smiles

Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have strong interest in trading for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. But apparently Danny Ainge is driving a hard bargain.

Ainge, who is helping to lead a makeover in Utah, got four first-round picks (five if you include Walker Kessler) and several players in a trade with Minnesota for Rudy Gobert. His price tag for Mitchell reportedly is six first-round picks.

According to former Salt Lake City radio host Tim Montemayor, the Knicks are frustrated with Ainge’s strong negotiation approach.

Montemayor suggests the Jazz are not in a rush to trade Mitchell and therefore a deal involving the guard may not be imminent.

Whether or not the Jazz are looking to trade Mitchell has been in question. The team dealing away Royce O’Neale and Gobert indicates they are stockpiling draft picks. It wouldn’t make much sense to keep Mitchell while trading away these other top players. But if Ainge believes he has the leverage to wait out the Knicks or any other team, he’s probably right. The Knicks have been targeting Mitchell for quite some time and have more pressure on them to make a deal than Ainge.

For what it’s worth, it’s not Ainge’s job to have other teams like him; it’s his job to do what’s best for his team. When it came to the Gobert trade, he got a ton.


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