The Knicks are reportedly one of the teams interested in getting in on the possible Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes, but the franchise doesn’t want to give up one of its own budding stars to do so.
According to Ian Begley of SNY, New York has “no interest” in trading former No. 3 pick RJ Barrett in any deal this offseason.
The new detail comes after The Athletic’s Tony Jones reported on Tuesday that the Knicks are reportedly looking to put together a package to go after Mitchell. New York’s interest was documented shortly after reports suggested that Utah was more willing to field calls about its All-Star guard than previously thought.
Jazz GM Justin Zanik recently said there is no “intent” to trade Mitchell, but it now seems possible that the right offer could prompt the organization to part ways with the 25-year-old. The Knicks, laden with eight trade-eligible first-round draft picks, are in position to piece together an enticing package, but would likely need to offer one of the young assets currently on the team’s roster.
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Although it seems as though the Knicks are unwilling to budge on their position, Barrett is exactly the type of young player that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge would covet in a deal involving Mitchell. The former Duke star is poised to enter his fourth year in the NBA after a career 2021–22 campaign, in which he averaged a career-high 20.0 points per game. He also racked up 5.8 points and 3.0 assists per contest, while posting admirable shooting splits of 40.8% from the field and 34.2% from three-point range.
Despite Barrett’s upside, Mitchell is already a proven offensive juggernaut with a skillset that the Knicks have yearned after for much of the last decade. Time will tell if the desire to land a star is enough to change the franchise’s tune about what it might be willing to offer in a trade.
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