Jazz reportedly liking non-Knicks Donovan Mitchell trade offers could be a ploy

Earlier this week, it was reported that the New York Knicks and the Utah Jazz had recently re-engaged in trade talks (subscription required) surrounding three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell. That reportedly occurred after a few weeks of the two sides not speaking with one another after their initial trade conversations had taken place.

Mitchell’s been continuing his busy offseason, recently playing in a Pro-Am contest with Bam Adebayo in Miami and then making an appearance at Rucker Park on Thursday night.

The guard signed a five-year extension with Utah in November of 2020, so he still has three guaranteed years left on his contract. But after the mega Rudy Gobert trade, the expectation is that Mitchell will be traded before the start of the 2022-23 season.

And out of all of the teams that have shown interest in the 25-year-old, New York has the best package to offer without looping a third team in. But with the Knicks not showing a willingness to cave to Danny Ainge’s demands, the Jazz have reportedly been in conversations with other teams as well, such as the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Hornets.

According to Utah sports radio host Spence Checketts, he was told by a source that the Jazz have “a couple of offers from other teams outside of New York that they like an awful lot.”

Jazz reportedly have offers from teams outside of the Knicks that they’re interested in

Now, this could be true, but it’d take a lot for a team like the Wizards, Hornets, or even the Heat to successfully trade for Mitchell. Based on what Ainge is looking for (which is reportedly as many as six first-round picks), the Knicks have what he wants, although the problem is supposedly that New York doesn’t want to include that many firsts.

Ainge could be trying to put pressure on the Knicks’ front office with a couple of months left until the start of 2022-23. New York’s been interested in Mitchell for a while, and the guard has numerous ties to the team, so even with the latest report, the Knicks still seem to be his most likely landing spot.

That isn’t to say that a trade with another team won’t happen, but as the saying goes, it feels like it’s ‘New York or nowhere’ for Donovan Mitchell.

Andy Larsen, who was on the radio show with Checketts, said that Utah is interested in RJ Barrett, but that New York seems to be more interested in keeping him. He ended it with, “I think that it’s pretty clear that both teams want this deal done.” Fans feel the same way.

Although there’s outside buzz about the Jazz liking offers from other teams, the belief is still that he’s going to end up on the Knicks. If Ainge can knock a first-round pick or two off his asking price, New York may go ahead and make what we’ve all been waiting for official.