Here’s how Quentin Grimes is making a Knicks-Donovan Mitchell trade more difficult

To watch Quentin Grimes play basketball is to love him, which is why the New York Knicks are reportedly reluctant to part ways with him in a potential Donovan Mitchell trade. As a 3-and-D wing, Grimes’ value is high as he’s entering his second season in the league.

In fact, if a Mitchell trade doesn’t go through, the expectation seems to be that Grimes will be New York’s starting shooting guard over Evan Fournier. According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have concerns about a Jalen Brunson-Fournier backcourt, but Grimes would fix that.

The 22-year-old had a strong showing at Summer League in Las Vegas last month, averaging 22.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.2 steals in five games. Keegan Murray was named MVP, but Grimes still earned Summer League First Team honors.

During Summer League, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Utah Jazz were believed to have an interest in Grimes. However, according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones, who was a guest on ESPN 700, the Knicks are reportedly reluctant to send Grimes to the Jazz.

The Knicks reportedly aren’t interested in trading Quentin Grimes to the Jazz in a Donovan Mitchell deal

Here’s what Jones had to say on the topic:

“The one player that [the Knicks] are trying not to put in the deal is Quentin Grimes. They don’t want Quentin Grimes in the deal under any circumstance. And the No. 1 player that the Jazz want in the deal is Quentin Grimes. And I get the sense that the Jazz are really hesitant to do a deal that doesn’t have Quentin Grimes in it. I can tell you that the Knicks are amenable to giving the Jazz Obi Toppin, who’s a really young and high-energy, high-ceiling power forward, but Quentin Grimes is a major sticking point at this point.”

So, we’ve known that New York isn’t willing to send the majority of its eight tradable first-round picks to Utah (which is presumably a reason why talks have stalled), and we now know that the organization hasn’t shown a willingness to include Grimes.

But according to Jones, the Knicks are open to sending Obi Toppin to the Jazz. There’s been talk about a Julius Randle trade happening after a Mitchell trade, but the main reason why fans want that to happen is so Toppin can become a starter for New York, which obviously wouldn’t happen if he went to the Jazz.

The Knicks are clearly adamant about keeping Grimes as he’s another example of New York’s homegrown talent, but if a deal were to come down to Grimes staying or leaving, it would be tough to envision the front office drawing the line there.

And after all, Mitchell could very well still be in Utah at the start of the 2022-23 season. There’s no rush for a trade to happen since he still has three guaranteed years left on his contract, but you can nearly assume that the 25-year-old doesn’t want to be in Utah through the 2024-25 season.

The Knicks have had their eyes on Mitchell for some time now and if a deal does happen and Grimes isn’t included, that’d be a big win for the front office.