The New York Knicks have widely been regarded as the favorites to land Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. New York has eight future first-round picks they can trade, in addition to promising young talent. These assets, combined with Mitchell’s ties to New York, have made a deal seem likely since Utah began fielding offers for their star guard.
With trade talks stalling between the Jazz and Knicks for nearly a month, The Athletic’s Shams Charania recently reported that the two sides had resumed discussions once again. While no trade is expected to be imminent, the two sides have indeed reengaged. Because of the aforementioned factors that create a pathway for a Mitchell to New York trade, many feel as if a deal is inevitable. That said, there are reportedly deals outside the Knicks that have Utah’s attention.
Mitchell to somewhere else?
According to Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Jazz have offers from other teams outside of New York that they like a lot. While these teams were not named, it was reported by Shams Charania at the end of July that the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards were engaged with the Jazz on a Donovan Mitchell trade.
When looking at Charlotte and Washington, along with other teams that make sense as a landing spot for Mitchell, nobody seems to have a package like the one New York can offer. That said, there is a significant distinction between what a team can offer, and what they are willing to offer. That is where this latest report begins to make more sense.
The power of leverage
If the New York Knicks have currently been unwilling to meet Utah’s asking price for Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz would certainly be inclined to create the illusion of competition. While there may actually be competitive offers for Mitchell outside of New York, this latest report may also be a leverage play by the Jazz.
If the illusion can be created that Utah is enamored by offers outside of New York, the Knicks could then be motivated to up their offer, which is something they certainly have the capacity to do. Utah knows this, and would be foolish not to capitalize on it.
As previously mentioned, there are likely other offers on the table for Donovan Mitchell outside of New York; however, none of them can realistically exceed what the Knicks have at their disposal. Looking to receive as many of those assets as possible, the Utah Jazz may be maximizing their leverage with this latest report.