Report: Knicks Feel Jazz Didn’t Give ‘Fair Shake’ In Mitchell Talks

Sep 5, 2022, 10:12 AM | Updated: 10:21 am
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz dribbles against RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks during the second half at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 2022 in New York City. The Jazz won 108-93. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Individuals within the New York Knicks reportedly feel that they didn’t receive “a fair shake” in their trade talks with the Utah Jazz for NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell.

On September 1, news broke that after months of negotiations with the Knicks and other teams, the Jazz traded Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Two days later the trade became official and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported that “members of the Knicks felt they didn’t get a fair shake from the Jazz in their trade negotiations for Donovan Mitchell.”

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “New York had the assets Utah preferred and the sides seemed to be inching closer to a trade” on August 28. The Knicks declined to meet the Jazz’s demands and halted trade talks. After pausing things with Utah, New York signed RJ Barrett to a multi-year extension that would made it difficult include the forward in a trade for the next year. Despite moving away from negotiations, the Knicks “planned to continue pursuing Mitchell, sources said, but the Jazz pivoted to the Cleveland discussions and never again engaged the Knicks in talks this week, sources said,” via Wojnarowski’s report.

New York gambled that it had leverage over Utah and ultimately lost the trade race for Mitchell.

In exchange for the three-time All-Star, the Cavaliers sent the Jazz Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, rookie Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first round picks, and a pair of pick swaps.

Per Bondy, “the Knicks, according to sources, feel like their proposals with RJ Barrett as the centerpiece with multiple first-round picks were better than the Cavs’ final offer.”

In April, Mitchell played his final playoff series as a member of the Jazz. During Game 1 of Utah’s series with the Dallas Mavericks, multiple members of the Knicks’ front office attended the contest and sat courtside. It “was widely viewed as a recruitment maneuver for offseason targets Jalen Brunson and Donovan Mitchell,” according to Bondy. However, “people who know Ainge say he’d never jeopardize a deal over something petty” like New York’s appearance at the postseason game.

Recently, Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher tweeted that “some Jazz officials were not happy that Mitchell wanted out [of Utah] and viewed sending him to CLE — rather than home to NY — as payback)”

KSL Sports Zone’s Scott Garrard responded to Bucher’s tweet. “This is not accurate,” Garrard wrote.

After the trade became official, the Jazz thanked Mitchell for his time with the organization and his impact on the community.

“We got to watch you light up the league as a rookie and cheer you on as you became a perennial All-Star. We witnessed you embrace and serve our community while standing for what’s right and uniting Jazz fans everywhere. Thank you for all the good you did here @spidadmitchell.” the Jazz wrote in a series of tweets about Mitchell. “There will always be Donovan Mitchell fans in Utah. Once a Jazzman, always a Jazzman.”

Mitchell also posted on social media and thanked Jazz Nation and former Utah head coach Quin Snyder for their support over the past five seasons.

“Thank you for the memories and the incredible times… you guys watched me grow up on and off the floor,” Mitchell wrote. “Coach Quin thank you for giving me the opportunity and trusting me to lead this team for the past 5 years‼️”

Now, Mitchell is a member of a young All-Star cast of Cavaliers, the Jazz moved forward with their rebuild, and the Knicks remain superstar-less.

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