It’s back to the drawing board for Donovan Mitchell, whose path to becoming a New York Knick just got a lot more complicated. While RJ Barrett’s four-year, $107-million extension doesn’t necessarily end the Knicks’ pursuit of Mitchell, it does throw a major wrench in it with Barrett, coming off a breakout season (career-high 20 points per game), seen as arguably New York’s top trade chip. Per Shams Charania, the Knicks recently offered Barrett and a pair of unprotected first-round picks, a package Utah perceived as underwhelming.
Regardless of the Knicks’ involvement, a Mitchell trade, whether it’s today or in the coming weeks, seems all but inevitable, a reality the All-Star guard has acknowledged by removing the Jazz from his Twitter bio.
As we’ve seen with Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray, social media can be an effective negotiating tool, employing passive-aggressive tactics to create a sense of urgency. A disgruntled star alluding to his unhappiness through cryptic means (deleting posts, unfollowing team accounts, etc.) has become a cliché at this point, a rite of passage for Mitchell and others who feel they’ve outgrown their current circumstances, exercising whatever leverage they have in facilitating a trade to a more desirable situation. More often than not, teams will call a player’s bluff, though in this instance, the Jazz seem more than willing to accommodate Mitchell, as long as they get a decent return for him.
Other teams linked to Mitchell include the Cavaliers and Hornets, with Washington looming as a potential dark horse. Mitchell, who turns 26 next month, has averaged 23.9 points, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals over 345 career games, all with Utah, since arriving as the 13th pick in the 2017 Draft. Despite six consecutive playoff appearances, the Jazz are entering a rebuilding phase, trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to Minnesota earlier this summer for Patrick Beverley (who has since been dealt to Los Angeles), Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, four first-rounders and a pick swap in 2026.
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