UTAH JAZZ

Three Hypothetical Jazz, Knicks Donovan Mitchell Trades

Jul 14, 2022, 3:17 PM | Updated: Aug 8, 2022, 3:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz are reportedly in trade talks with the New York Knicks regarding a blockbuster deal centered around Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell has led the Jazz to the playoffs each of his first five seasons in the NBA, but after trading Rudy Gobert last week, the team is looking for a fresh start.

The Knicks are in desperate need of a young star, and have a slew of players and draft picks at their disposal to complete a deal for Mitchell who they’ve eyed for a number of years.

Here are three different trade hypotheticals for the Jazz and Knicks revolving around Mitchell.

Young And In Control

Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell

Knicks Outgoing:

  • Evan Fournier
  • Cam Reddish
  • Quentin Grimes
  • Obi Toppin
  • 2023 1-10 Protected 1st Round Pick Via DAL
  • 2023 1-14 Protected 1st Round Pick Via Washington
  • 2024 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2026 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2028 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

Why For The Jazz:

This is the trade that most closely resembles that package that the Jazz front office just got from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Rudy Gobert trade that brought back five players, four future first-round draft picks, and the right to swap first-round picks in 2026.

Not only would this trade satisfy the Jazz desire to add more picks (five in total), but it would also give them a healthy dose of young players under team control for the next several seasons in Obi Toppin, Cam Reddish, and Quentin Grimes, plus a veteran they can flip for more assets in Evan Fournier.

This would signal a total rebuild for the Jazz with no significant long-term contracts on the books, and get them back into the 2024 NBA Draft where they don’t currently own any picks.

Why For The Knicks:

While this is unquestionable a heavy price for the Knicks to pay sending out five future first-round picks and a slew of young players, they land their coveted star in Mitchell in return.

Due to their other moves this offseason, the Knicks would still have four first-round draft picks and six second-round draft picks to work with through 2025.

Most importantly, however, it allows New York to hold onto coveted young guard RJ Barrett who could slide to small forward alongside Mitchell and Jalen Brunson on the perimeter.

The RJ Barrett Trade

Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell

Knicks Outgoing:

  • RJ Barrett
  • Evan Fournier
  • 2023 1-10 Protected 1st Round Pick Via Dallas
  • 2024 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2026 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2028 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

Why For The Jazz:

Rather than taking back the four young players mentioned in the previous trade, the Jazz get back a more proven, and highly-coveted prospect in RJ Barrett.

Barrett, the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, is coming off a strong campaign with the Knicks in which he averaged 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in 70 appearances.

He’s not a surefire star, but he’s got a higher ceiling than any other player the Knicks can offer and could push the Jazz rebuild forward by a season or two depending on the appetite ownership has for missing the playoffs.

Additionally, the Jazz still land four future first-round picks and a flippable veteran in Fournier.

Why For The Knicks:

While losing Barrett might be a tough pill to swallow, the Knicks avoid having to pay the young guard in the summer of 2023, and aren’t stuck with more than $80 million in salary in the backcourt between Barrett, Brunson, and Mitchell.

Furthermore, the Knicks maintain roster flexibility by holding onto Toppin, Reddish, and Grimes providing ample young depth behind a competitive starting lineup.

Though four first-round picks remains a hefty cost, the Knicks still have five first-round picks to work with over the next three seasons.

The Julius Randle Trade

Jazz Outgoing:

  • Donovan Mitchell
  • Rudy Gay

Knicks Outgoing:

  • Julius Randle
  • Evan Fournier
  • Quentin Grimes
  • 2023 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2023 1-10 Protected 1st Round Pick Via Dallas
  • 2023 1-14 Protected 1st Round Pick Via Washington
  • 2025 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2025 1-4 Protected 1st Round Pick From Milwaukee
  • 2027 Unprotected 1st Round Pick
  • 2029 Unprotected 1st Round Pick

Why For The Jazz:

Admittedly the most far-fetched of the trade scenarios presented, but if the Jazz are comfortable entering a full-on Oklahoma City Thunder-style rebuild that values draft picks above all else, they could conceivably strike a deal for Julius Randle.

In this scenario, the Jazz take on the remaining three years and $80 million Randle’s contract, plus the contract of Evan Fournier, but get back a talented young player in Grimes and an unheard of seven future first-round draft picks.

The Jazz would likely try to showcase Randle and Fournier next season in hopes of trading them for future assets at the deadline, and still having plenty of time to tank games to close the year while shedding Rudy Gay’s contract in the process.

Why For The Knicks:

If the Knicks do trade for Mitchell, they’ll face financial difficulties almost immediately as long as Randle and Barrett are on the roster.

Randle is owed between $25-29 each of the next three seasons while Barrett is likely headed towards a four-year, $100 million deal beginning next summer.

Even if they were to shed Fournier, Reddish, Grimes, and Toppin as mentioned in our first trade, the Knicks would still be nearing $140 million in contracts with Mitchell and Barrett on the roster in 2023.

That’s over the projected salary cap, with only nine players under contract.

Moving Randle would give the Knicks considerably more wiggle room to add the pieces they’ll need to compete around a Mitchell, Brunson, and Barrett core, while holding onto Reddish, Toppin, and Quickley, all of whom can provide depth, or serve as future trade pieces.

What do you think Jazz fans, which Donovan Mitchell trade scenario would you like to see take place with the Knicks?

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Three Hypothetical Jazz, Knicks Donovan Mitchell Trades