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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks Fans Should Not Be Upset Over Donovan Mitchell

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks Fans Should Keep Their Heads Up

Knicks fans don’t cry. Yes, Donovan Mitchell has been traded. Of course, it could hurt for some that he won’t be wearing orange and blue this season. But it’s not the end of the world. The elusive “star” is yet to make its way to the Knicks.

Just because Mitchell was readily available, doesn’t mean he was the only way to get a star. I like to think that Leon Rose has still assembled a really good young core. If RJ Barrett’s contract actually hits four years and $120 million, that means he is an All-Star. If not, it is still a reasonable enough deal, similar to Jalen Brunson’s. The fact that Quentin Grimes has arguably done enough in his rookie season to replace Evan Fournier as a starter is a great thing. Just take a deep breath and remember it’s all fine.

Damned If You Do

Remember, the Knicks were dealing with Danny Ainge in Mitchell talks. He wanted FOUR unprotected first-round picks from Rose. They essentially got that in the form of three unprotected picks and 2022 lottery pick Ochai Agbaji. The Cavs absolutely got better in adding Mitchell. They have four All-Star caliber players with Spida, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. The Knicks would have gotten better too — but remember where the top of the East stands. Milwaukee is a year removed from a title. The Celtics just made the Finals, and the Heat were pretty damn close to doing it also. KD and Kyrie are going to stay in Brooklyn for another year.

Would you say the Cavs are better than any of those teams? Are they better than a healthy Joel Embiid and Sixers team? They could possibly catch up to Brooklyn due to their inconsistency. The Hawks also added an All-Star in Dejounte Murray. How much would Mitchell truly move the needle for the Knicks?

Think about the package as well. Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, and three unprotected picks. For the Knicks, that would probably amount to Grimes, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and three unprotected picks. Fournier would also probably be moved to make the money work. I, for one, would like to see how Brunson improves this team. A starting five of Brunson-Grimes-Barrett-Randle-Robinson could actually be fun to watch.

Chasing Stars

Donovan Mitchell will not be the sought-after star. So, who could it be? 2023 free agency does not offer much. James Harden will be chasing a ring, whether in Philly or elsewhere. Irving will probably go to the Lakers next summer. The trade market will likely take a few years before a player of Mitchell’s caliber or better becomes available. You should not waste your energy thinking the Knicks would trade for Kevin Durant.

Again, you can call me off-the-walls crazy. But Luka Doncic is gonna want out of Dallas at some point. It could be two years, or three years, or after his contract runs out. But the Knicks should just keep doing what they’re doing. Collecting young talent and picks, being mindful of the cap, and trying to make a playoff run with what you got. Once they show both development and franchise stability, the stars will come. Knicks fans just need to wait a little longer.


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