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The underside of Donovan Mitchell’s failed transfer to the Knicks

Big favorites for several weeks to welcome Donovan Mitchell as part of a transfer, the Knicks were finally doubled by the Cavaliers, who sent Utah a “package” centered around Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen, and three first rounds of the Draft (2025, 2027 and 2029, plus “swaps” in 2026 and 2028), to convince Danny Ainge to separate from “Spida”.

After the contract extension of RJ Barrett, announced a few days earlier, it seemed that the momentum was no longer really in favor of the Knicks in the Donovan Mitchell case. Because since mid-August, the name of the Canadian appeared in the rumors, and he probably occupied a central place in the requirements of the Jazz. For their part, the Knicks seemed inclined to include RJ Barrett in their “package”, but they also set a deadline last Monday. In the absence of an agreement with Utah, they would extend it. This is already what they had done at the beginning of the summer with Mitchell Robinson, initially proposed by the Knicks to Jazz.

A disagreement over draft rounds

In other words, RJ Barrett would most likely, at present, be a Jazz player if the two clubs had agreed on the details of the transfer.

But faced with the substantial consideration demanded by Danny Ainge, particularly in terms of Draft choice, the Knicks finally preferred to withdraw from the negotiations, to secure the future of their young Canadian winger.

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Since the Donovan Mitchell soap opera is over, we now know more about these details in question. Thereby, ESPN reports that President Leon Rose and his counterpart Danny Ainge had agreed on the following basis: RJ Barrett, one additional player, two unprotected first rounds of the Draft, two second rounds and two “swaps” (exchanges of choices ). It was the heart of the exchange.

In addition, our colleagues add that a third team would have integrated the equation, to recover the 37 million dollars remaining on the contract of Evan Fournier, who would have left the Knicks because of the “poison pill” created by the extension. by RJ Barrett.

Quentin Grimes, the VIP of the case

Except that Danny Ainge wanted Quentin Grimes as second player. Priority of the Jazz, the young shooter was however untouchable in the negotiations. The Knicks, in replacement, proposed Immanuel Quickley, always according to ESPN. In response, the Jazz requested an unprotected third first-round draft.

And this is where the breaking point in the negotiations was reached: the Knicks did not agree to part with Quentin Grimes, in addition to RJ Barrett and all the other elements stated above, but they did not Nor were they ready to replace him, in the transfer, with an unprotected third first-round draft.

According to ESPN, the Knicks wanted this third first round to be protected in the Top 5. What Danny Ainge, ruthless in his quest for substantial Draft capital, refused.

In three years, Donovan Mitchell will be a free agent…

Thus, the standoff lasted, but Leon Rose had his limits and did not exceed them. In the end, Danny Ainge did get his first three unprotected draft rounds. Those of Cleveland who recalled the Jazz when he learned that discussions were over with the Knicks. We know the rest…

While he hadn’t asked anyone and was studiously preparing for his second year in the NBA, Quentin Grimes found himself in the middle of these negotiations, both coveted by the Jazz and protected by the Knicks. A great sign of confidence.

As for Donovan Mitchell, who dreamed of the Knicks, here he is at the Cavaliers for the next three seasons. In three years, he will be an unprotected free agent. He will only be 29 years old, and plenty of time to sign in New York. If he wishes…

Donovan Mitchell Percentage Bounces
Season Crew GM Minimum Shots 3 points LF Off Def Early pd party Int bp CT Points
2017-18 UTH 79 33 43.7 34.0 80.5 0.7 3.1 3.8 3.7 2.7 1.5 2.7 0.3 20.5
2018-19 UTH 77 34 43.2 36.2 80.6 0.8 3.3 4.1 4.2 2.7 1.4 2.8 0.4 23.8
2019-20 UTH 69 34 44.9 36.6 86.3 0.8 3.6 4.4 4.3 2.5 1.0 2.7 0.2 24.0
2020-21 UTH 53 33 43.8 38.6 84.5 0.9 3.5 4.4 5.2 2.2 1.0 2.8 0.3 26.4
2021-22 UTH 67 34 44.8 35.5 85.3 0.8 3.4 4.2 5.3 2.5 1.5 3.0 0.2 25.9
Total 345 34 44.1 36.1 83.3 0.8 3.4 4.2 4.5 2.5 1.3 2.8 0.3 23.9

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