Last update on Donovan Mitchell trade front remains no updates.
The Utah are still looking to trade Mitchell and the Knicks remain the clear leader because they have a first round pick the Jazz are looking for but the sides are not close and the Utah are willing to keep Mitchell this season rather than settle less than their asking price. And that asking price is more than the four (actually five) first round picks they got in Rudy Gobert trade.
Tony Jonesauthor of jazz beats for The Athletic, joined Michel Scotto on Friday’s Hoopshype podcast and gave just this update:
I don’t think the two sides are close. I don’t think they were close. We’ll see what happens when the training camp urgency kicks in. The Jazz want what they want, which is a choice from this deal, and they need young guys on short or rookie contracts. By definition, it’s Toppin, Grimes, and Quickly… the Knicks don’t want to unload. Derrick Rose. He has long been a favorite of Tom Thibodeau. I know the Knicks want him and Grimes. These guys are prioritized…
The feeling I’m getting right now is that it probably won’t happen on an imminent level. The two sides are not close. I think that if this happens, then closer to the training camp or the beginning of the season. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll see what happens closer to the February deadline.
There should be some pressure on the Jazz around training camp because despite all the picks they got in the Gobert trade, Utah’s most valuable asset in recovery is her own first-round player. To put it more bluntly, if the Jazz want to play Victor Wembanyama next June, they need to lose a lot of games. Saving Donovan Mitchell – and Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Patrick Beverly and other veterans – in the roster will mean victories.
But Danny Ainge is not the type to be rushed. He’s playing the long game, and if that means waiting for the start of the season – when the Knicks might stumble in the deep East and get a little desperate – he’ll be waiting. Perhaps a three-team trade with the Lakers will even find a second life (although this is rather unlikely).
Two more interesting notes from Jones in the podcast. First, he said the Heat didn’t have the assets the Jazz needed and weren’t close to a deal (although you might argue like Ira Windermanwhat trades for Tyler Herro and then by flipping it over, Utah can get two more first hits, Jones suggesting that Utah isn’t interested in that extra step). Secondly, he said that the Jazz did not have the courage to involve Julius Randle as part of the trade. So keep him out of your trading machine’s attempts to make this trade.