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HomeSportsDonovan Mitchell trade: Knicks whiff on another star, but RJ Barrett and...

Donovan Mitchell trade: Knicks whiff on another star, but RJ Barrett and future flexibility was worth more

Donovan Mitchell was traded, seemingly out of the blue, to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, and the low-hanging fallout story for the New York Knicks goes to be putting out on yet one more celebrity pursuit. It isn’t an unreasonable takeaway. The Knicks finally have to really hook certainly one of these massive fish they’re at all times trolling after. 

However the incorrect deal can affect a franchise simply as considerably as the precise one. Of all the celebs the Knicks have, to various levels, pursued of late, are we positive Mitchell would’ve been the precise one to land? 

First, are we positive Donovan Mitchell is a celebrity? He is excellent. On offense. He is confirmed himself as a big-time playoff performer, and that has to matter an excellent deal. However a Mitchell-Jalen Brunson backcourt sounds awfully small and defensively weak. If the Knicks had given up RJ Barrett, whom they have been reportedly providing, in a deal to amass Mitchell, plus a boatload of future picks, it will’ve largely eliminated them from the chase of one other All-Star down the road.

How good is a Mitchell-Brunson pairing, significantly with out the dimensions and defensive assist of a Barrett? You higher hope Julius Randle morphs again into an All-Star, and even then you definately’re in all probability a lower-end playoff staff, at greatest, in a totally stacked Jap Convention. 

The deal Utah acquired from Cleveland — Collin Sextion, Lauri Markannen, 2022 No. 14 total choose Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first-round picks and the precise to 2 future choose swaps — is a greater deal that New York was reportedly providing. New York is believed to have provided Barrett, however Danny Ainge, an authorized thief in these negotiations, wished extra unprotected picks. New York was, to me, sensible to not give them up. 

Chances are high, the Knicks would’ve actually needed to pile on the picks to trump the stable package deal of gamers Utah acquired from Cleveland. Once more, Mitchell is basically good. However how good? As an instance the Knicks ship out 5 picks, three or 4 unprotected, to get Mitchell. Whereas that would not empty New York’s basket (it has eight trade-eligible future picks), it will depart solely three future picks — of debatable worth — with which to enter future commerce talks, and Oklahoma Metropolis and Houston are possible just a few years away from being able to mud everybody else’s provides. 

Once more, I am not saying the Knicks would’ve been unequivocally misguided to go all-in on Mitchell. New York reportedly believed {that a} Brunson-Mitchell duo would’ve attracted one other star. That is debatable, as is whether or not the Knicks would’ve had the sources so as to add that third star even when one had emerged as a goal. 

Finally, had the Knicks been in a position to preserve Barrett, I might’ve been in assist of including extra unprotected picks to get Mitchell. I believe Barrett can grow to be an All-Star, and there is your Large 3 if Brunson seems to be an All-Star-level participant. If he would not, you possibly can package deal him with the leftover picks for a high-level alternative to pair with Mitchell and Barrett. Or you possibly can commerce Barrett. This is able to’ve been sufficient wiggle room to nonetheless really feel snug. 

However giving up Barrett and a bunch of unprotected picks was a bridge too far. Mitchell is not that nice. When the frustration of whiffing on one other star subsides, Knicks followers will, or ought to, see that they are in a fairly good place transferring ahead. Brunson is probably an overpay, we’ll see, however he is an excellent participant and he takes the ball out of Randle’s monopolizing palms. Barrett now has time to proceed creating, and most significantly, these eight future trade-eligible drafts picks are nonetheless within the holster. 

Throw in a possible large cap spike in 2025, when the brand new TV deal is ready to kick in, and New York may be just a few years away from having one thing near max house. At that time, Brunson may have a participant choice. If he is value it, you lengthen him. If not, he turns into a commerce piece. That is referred to as flexibility, which, to me, is best than depleting your asset pool and overextending your self for Mitchell simply to be a No. 6 seed. 

I will reiterate this one final time: Affordable minds can disagree on this stance I’ve taken. The Knicks must get a real star in some unspecified time in the future, and Mitchell is a star. He is not a celebrity, for my part, however he is a legit star. When you suppose the Knicks ought to’ve given up extra unprotected picks and/or Barrett and figured the remaining out later, particularly with Houston and OKC lurking as trade-trumping monsters just a few years from now, that is comprehensible. It isn’t the place I fall, however this is not a clear-cut scenario. This was a troublesome name both approach. Solely time will inform if the Knicks selected proper. 

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