There’s a simple logic to why both the Jazz and Knicks want to complete a Donovan Mitchell trade before training camp ideally, and certainly before the season starts (the Knicks remain the clear front-runner to land Mitchell).
The Knicks want Mitchell to get as much time in the system and alongside their other new guard, Jalen Brunson, as possible before the season begins. For the Jazz, having Mitchell come into training camp creates a huge daily distraction — every day first-year coach Will Hardy will have to answer questions about Mitchell, fair or not. Then, once the season starts, the Jazz look to do just that
Tank they are placed in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes and Mitchell confuses them because he is very good at basketball and wins games.
With the Kevin Durant trade drama over (for now), the league’s focus has turned to trading Mitchell, and the Jazz want to do it, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports on his Hoop Collective podcast.
“[Tim] MacMahon, you said, I believe last week, that you thought the Jazz would make a Donovan Mitchell trade before the opener. And it sounds to me from talking to people around the league that the Jazz want to try to get out of this even faster. They want to go before training…
“It sounds like I’m talking to people around the league that the Jazz are trying to put the gas here. To try to fulfill the offer, especially the New York Knicks offer.”
Training camps begin on September 26.
The Knicks are the clear front-runners for Mitchell and reportedly offered five first-round picks (two unprotected), plus Obi Toppin and Evan Fournier for Mitchell. While there has been talk about whether RJ Barrett is in the deal, the reported sticking point is that the Jazz want more unprotected picks (they got three for Rudy Gobert plus a quarterback who is just protected in the top five).
New York doesn’t need to raise its bid because who else is out there? The Cavaliers have reportedly pulled out of the talks, reports Ian Begley of SNY.TV.
The Miami Heat are interested in Mitchell, but can only offer two unprotected picks (likely three if they get lower protections with the Thunder), plus a Tyler Hero-based player package. It’s a reasonable offer, but the Jazz probably value the Knicks more – Miami is a good team and a quality franchise that plays hard every night and gets the most out of the talent on the roster. The Heat are never going to be terrible, making their picks less valuable. On the other hand, history shows that the Knicks’ picks — even if they have Mitchell on the roster — have the potential to be very good.
In the end, everyone around the league expects the Knicks and Jazz to make a deal, the only questions are what does it look like and when will it be completed? On the second question, that might be sooner rather than later.
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Report Jazz wants to ‘apply the gas’ to complete Donovan Mitchell trade originally appeared on NBCSports.com