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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Report: Knicks did not feel they had fair shot to land Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell warming up

Dec 7, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) warms up prior to their game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks had the necessary assets to make a trade with the Utah Jazz for star guard Donovan Mitchell, but they apparently feel they were never given a legitimate chance to do so.

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Knicks felt they did not get a “fair shake” in their negotiations with the Jazz. Executives in New York reportedly believed that their proposals, which were structured around RJ Barrett and several first-round draft picks, were better than the offer Utah accepted from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mitchell was sent to the Cavs in exchange for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps. The Knicks were never given a chance to make a final offer before Danny Ainge accepted Cleveland’s offer.

There have been numerous reports that the Knicks were stunned by the way the Jazz operated. It is entirely possible that the Knicks are the ones leaking all that information in an attempt to justify another botched attempt to land a star player.

One theory is that Ainge and other Jazz executives wanted to stick it to New York after the stunt the Knicks pulled during the postseason. Another is that Ainge simply likes Sexton better than Barrett and would rather build a team around Sexton.

Whatever the case, the Knicks are once again left exploring other options. They have missed out on every star free agent they have pursued in recent years, and those shortcomings have now spilled over into the trade market. Even if Ainge did not negotiate in good faith, that is not going to make Knicks fans feel any better.

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