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Nelson Chenault/ USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks Should Avoid Trading For Donovan Mitchell

Knicks
Nelson Chenault/ USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks Should Not Go For Donovan Mitchell This Offseason

The New York Knicks had a rough 2021-2022 season. That much is obvious. However, what they don’t need to do is complicate their offseason by trading for Donovan Mitchell. Let’s not get it twisted. I know he is a star. He even ups his game in the playoffs. However, it’s still only the first round and the links to New York are already intensifying.

Obviously, it makes sense. Mitchell is a hometown guy. Born in Elmsford, his dad even works for the New York Mets. He’s been a walking 20 points per game ever since he entered the league at 21. Furthermore, the Jazz are down 3-2 in their first-round series after getting blown out 102-77 in Dallas by the Mavericks. However, I think it makes too much sense, and here’s why.

Not The Right Time

Despite having a number of veterans, the Knicks are still a young team. They could easily have the assets to make a trade for Mitchell possible. With 3 first-round picks in the next 2 drafts, a plethora of young players to choose from, and vets on larger cap hits to absorb Mitchell’s rookie max extension, a trade is absolutely feasible. However, I simply do not think that the former Louisville guard is what they need right now. A player of his caliber is certainly not worth a heaven-and-earth type trade package. His value doesn’t sniff the assets given up for Anthony Davis or Paul George.

But remember: this is the Knicks we’re talking about. They could mortgage their future for a guy who might make a handful of All-NBA teams when it’s all said and done. It would also effectively put a ceiling on them as a second-round playoff team at best. They need a star that is a tier above Mitchell. Someone along the lines of a Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or presumptive back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic. While he’s just 25, I’m not entirely convinced that he will turn into that kind of player. He already has question marks on defense based on his smaller size at the 2 guard spot. It’s great to average over 25 points per game, but how much does it contribute to meaningful wins?

There Are Better Options To Go For

If you ask me, I have no problem putting eggs in a basket for Jalen Brunson. He is a true point guard, exactly what the Knicks have needed for decades. With Kemba Walker falling off a cliff this year, and Derrick Rose consistently in and out of the lineup, a young guard like Brunson making $20-$25 million a year seems like a much safer bet. Surprise, surprise, he is also a CAA client, the agency that Knicks President Leon Rose used to run before taking the job in New York.

The former Villanova standout just posted career highs in scoring and assists, has shot 40% from 3 in the past, and is an excellent interior scorer at his size. Brunson has been cooking the Jazz for the first 5 games of this series, and has more than earned a handsome payday. He would also fit in great with the Knicks’ timeline at 25 years old. A starting 5 of Brunson, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson could actually be pretty good at full force. The Knicks could even swing for the fences with a guy like Bradley Beal if all they have to give up is cap space.

There Are Better Fits Out There For Mitchell

Some will definitely argue it was written in the starts for him to play at MSG. However, I personally think Donovan Mitchell would thrive elsewhere. One team I have in mind: the Miami Heat. While it would probably cost something along the lines of Tyler Herro, cap fillers, and draft compensation, that Heat team with Mitchell would easily be one of the East’s two best teams. It gives them a dynamic scorer that would easily fit in with the Heat culture.

While Miami legend and current Jazz shareholder Dwayne Wade is probably against it, he knows that Mitchell would be in good hands. A starting five of Kyle Lowry, Mitchell, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker, and Bam Adebayo would wreak havoc on both ends of the floor. Miami and the Bucks would run the Eastern Conference until further notice. As well, an argument is there that the East is equally as strong as the West all things considered.

The New York Knicks need a star. However, I do not think Donovan Mitchell should be the guy. In the best interest of both team and player, he should pursue a trade elsewhere.

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