Quin Snyder’s departure from Jazz could lead Donovan Mitchell to Knicks

There were a couple of huge NBA breaking news stories this past week, one which directly involved the New York Knicks and another that has the potential to impact New York going forward.

The first was the hiring of Jalen Brunson’s father, Rick, as a Knicks assistant coach. The latter story comes out of Utah, as head coach Quin Snyder has “stepped down” from his position with the Jazz.

Snyder has been coaching at the NBA level for a long time. He’s served as an assistant for the LA Clippers (1992-93), Philadelphia 76ers (2010-11), LA Lakers (2011-12), and Atlanta Hawks (2013-14) before getting his first and only head coaching gig in Utah. He’s been with the Jazz since 2014.

He is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the sport. It shows in both his regular-season success (372-264 record as Jazz HC, 58.5 winning percentage) and in past NBA Coach of the Year voting (he finished second in 2018 and third in 2021).

While Utah has struggled to have the postseason success that you might expect based on their track record, it is clear that much of that shouldn’t fall on Snyder. The Jazz’s lack of offense outside of Donovan Mitchell and their reliance on Rudy Gobert to anchor a roster devoid of perimeter defenders has been their downfall year after year.

It seems right now as though Snyder stepped down either because he is upset with the results of the team under his leadership or he doesn’t see this team getting the proper makeover necessary to take the next step. Maybe it’s a combination of the two.

How does Snyder’s departure affect Knicks fans’ dreams of trading for Donovan Mitchell?

Regardless of why Snyder may have chosen to leave, one thing is certain: this makes Mitchell’s future in Utah all the more questionable. Snyder departing the team could be the latest domino to fall leading to a potential trade request from the three-time All-Star.

Speculation of Mitchell wanting out of the Jazz organization has been simmering below the surface of the NBA landscape for over a year now, and it has only seemed to become more of a sure concept. The team’s early exit in the playoffs at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, and now Snyder’s resignation, could be what causes everything to boil over.

Mitchell is on record citing his admiration for Snyder. Back in February of 2021, Mitchell gushed over his head coach, calling him “a wizard.”

In that interview with Fanatics View Hoops, Mitchell said Snyder is, “A great coach, but an even better person. He invests and loses himself in each individual player. One through fifteen he has teachable moments, life moments.”

He continued, “That’s one thing that I definitely appreciate, we’ve had conversations about life, not even just basketball… and as far as basketball goes, he’s one of the wizards of basketball… I’m happy to play for a coach like that.”

Clearly, he and Snyder have a close relationship, and Mitchell has never had anyone else as his head coach in the NBA. This is a huge loss that could prove to be the final straw for the New York native.

Additionally, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, this news is already affecting Mitchell. Woj says that the Jazz guard, “is described as unsettled, unnerved and wondering what it means for the franchise’s future.”

It remains to be seen how quickly this news will escalate the Mitchell situation, if at all. Mitchell can still give Utah another chance if the front office makes the right moves in the coming months.

No matter what, you can bet on Knicks fans and those of us at Daily Knicks to speculate and keep you updated on all of this.

Donovan, if you’re reading this somehow, if not for your basketball happiness, please request a trade to the Knicks as soon as possible so that you can be in New York and catch more live Mets games.