Are the Knicks better off without Donovan Mitchell?

Well, maybe Leon Rose Maybe Putting together the best possible business deal for Donovan Mitchell. In the end, though, he didn’t.

Reportedly President Nix Set a deadline for Monday night for the Jazz to finally agree to a deal that would send Mitchell, a three-time All-Star, to New York. Reports change About what could have been Title Back to Utah: a combination of RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Quentin Grimes, two unprotected first-round picks, a future of the protected top-five first (maybe coming via Bucks), multiple second-round picks, and possibly an unlimited-ride metro card. When the deadline came and went, Rose backed off from the negotiating table, signed Barrett to a nine-figure four-year contract extension, and sat silent, confident that Jazz CEO Danny Inge would not find a more palatable deal in the weeks leading up to training camp.

But Rose is a step back open the door For Cleveland—recently considered a Mitchell lottery—to step back and make a bid and make Mitchell a knight. What a show: Three unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029plus the right to alternate first-round picks with Cleveland in 2026 and 2028along with Signed and trading Colin Sexton, 4/jumbo-3 extension Lauri Markkanen, and new rookie Ochai Agbaji, who was drafted by the Caves for 14th in June.

Three unprotected picks, plus everything else. That’s the price the Cavs paid to add Mitchell—if not more than what Utah from Minnesota got for Rudy Gobert, then close to him—and in the end, it was the Knicks who decided he was too rich in their blood.

according to multiple ReportsIn the end, Rose will provide no more than two unprotected services in the deal that marked Barrett. Perhaps he refused to include the shooting guard in the second year Grimes in any package. He insisted on protecting the top five in a third pick as part of a larger proposal that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says would have used a third team to absorb the two years and $36.9 million left in Evan Fournier’s contract. He took a hard line, betting that Mitchell’s market was soft enough that he could close a deal without giving up his best. Ainge and Jazz GM Justin Zanik bet they could get their favorite bundle of picks elsewhere.

The Utah gamble paid off. New York did not. As a result, the Knicks started in September and still kept all their chips, but left looking for a new game to play. Whether you view that as a major disaster or a mild uneasiness will likely depend on how well you rate Mitchell, a soon-to-be 26-year-old drive who can claim one of the top 10 attacks. players on the planet, but they also bring the defensive and game-making peccadilloes that any potential competitor would have to contend with.

If you see Mitchell as the kind of scoring force that could lift the Knicks out of the bottom half of the league with offensive efficiency for the first time in nine years, giving New York the firepower to consistently compete in postseason, then miss out on what appears to be a critical mistake in picking the mediocre draft — Foolish but exaggerated thinking, which exaggerates the value of theoretical future prospects at the expense of the talent of the present tense.

If you see Mitchell as a small defensive responsibility and sometimes a mechanical playmaker whose weaknesses mark him as a second-tier All-Star player — closer to the NBA’s top 10 best 25 players — then choose not to relinquish control of the next five drafts for him not to be lazy or dereliction of duty. She exercises self-control and discipline. She’s sticking with the plan Rose has laid out since he took the reins at Madison Square Garden in March 2020, which he referenced after a draw and deal period that gave New York the cash needed to sign Jalen Bronson away from the Mavericks.

“Our focus will remain strategic and thoughtful in building our team,” Rose wrote in a statement after the draft. “Doing it the right way, while feeding the momentum from the end of last season and prioritizing our player development program.”

Reasonable minds could differ as to how much shares New York should put in the 12-11 record, and the sixth best net rated in the East after breaking all-stars. If nothing else, though, there seems to be a consistent line between Rose’s messages and actions in Mitchell’s negotiations: If you’re not one piece away, and even the next step won’t keep you one piece away, then don’t make it. Stay low and build. You know, like the Cavs.

Cleveland already has a core collection that includes Under-25s Writers All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, as well as 21-year-old genius Evan Mobley. It’s relatively easier for the Cavs to look at the East ground – by the way, they were two games off the lead in the All-Star break before a string of injuries – and see themselves as one big addition away from the controversy. You’d have to stare awfully to look at what’s left in New York after a huge deal — a starter five from Mitchell, Bronson, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and any winger left on the roster — and see a similar type of contender. And if, as many expected, the goal was to convince Mitchell next one A star (whatever) to join would the Knicks with their wrinkle picks be mortified for the next half-decade, with $100 million set aside for the Mitchell, Randall, Bronson and Robinson quartet in 2023-24, and without the young players who would have taken Utah for Mitchell still have enough In the treasury to complete such a deal?

Perhaps the answer is yes. Maybe, like Tony Jones the athlete Tweet ThursdayHowever, the Knicks could have completed the deal without sacrificing Grimes or picking Obi Toppin in the 2020 lottery, while still controlling one of their picks in the first round in the future, as well as the other four they had stored in previous trades. Perhaps that was enough to get them into the next round of talks for a star. That, plus the Mitchell-led core still in place, might have been enough for the Knicks to sniff out 50 wins for only the second time in this millennium.

Then again, if those players and protected choices aren’t enough to get Knicks Mitchell, then any star worth paying Will be are they net? How likely are they to trap a player better Who is Mitchell – ostensibly the point of the “first star brings second” thought experiment? Will the resulting roster have a real chance of contending for a championship – or, in a few years, will the Knicks find themselves facing the same fine but not great second-round ceiling that the Mitchell Jazz couldn’t break through? Given how desperate things have been in New York for two decades, would the mere prospect of repealing that cap be reason enough to pull the trigger?

Apparently Rose and his lieutenants did not believe the answers to these questions were persuasive enough to seal the deal that Jazz could have done. And now, after all the machinations, rumors and hints, the Knicks are back where they stood at the beginning of July: with a cache of draft picks, preaching patience and developing players, trying to see how good they can be and how they can improve with what they already have. (By the way, questions that might draw different answers depending on whether you’re asking New York CEOs or their head coach.)

Although the Knicks finished last season 37-45, if you subtract the minutes given to Kimba Walker in an ill-fated trial over the course of the first month of the season, they actually outperformed their opponents by three points per 100 possessions not in trash time, according to it. to me cleaning the glasses, with a defensive rating that would have tied for fourth place throughout the entire season. That 3+ net rating is, for what it’s worth, better than what the Knicks achieved during the 2020-21 season, when they won 41 games in a surprise race to the East number. 4 seeds. Perhaps, given all of that, it’s plausible that Knicks Brass would like to see if a healthy version of the roster, with Bronson delivering a jolt to the play-industry to help revitalize Randle and boost Barrett, is enough to produce a team capable of competing for the top-six spot.

Problem: This is terrible Tough question in today’s east. Barring injuries, out of last season’s top six players, only Chicago appears to be the right bet to fall back on. (That voice I just heard was DeMar DeRozan offering an impossible mid-range dagger as the answer.) Brooklyn in seventh doesn’t swap out Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving after all, and maybe Ben Simmons gets the floor. Eighth-ranked Atlanta and ninth-place Cleveland have just been replaced by the All-Star Guards.

The Knicks with Mitchell may not have broken into the top six in the East; As it is currently formed, though, the Knicks may struggle to even break into the top ten for the tournament. The possibility of changing this constitution brings us back to the question of the coach versus the front office.

Rose’s reluctance to abandon the Knicks youth and stated focus on internal development indicates that he is seeing greater roles on the show for the likes of Barrett, Grimes, Tobin and Quikley. Tom Thibodeau’s well-publicized preference for the veterans — the thinness that has led Randle to play longer minutes than any other player in the NBA over the past two seasons, while Toppin exceeded 24 minutes per game just 14 times in that period — suggests that he, At best, he is reticent to provide those opportunities when he has options with longer resumes. If the “wait and see if adding Bronson is enough” method doesn’t work, Rose may have to… Removal Some tipsy choices, as Billy Bean once did for Art How?

(I’m suddenly so sad that we won’t be able to see Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Tom Thibodeau.)

Rose still had the flexibility and choice to pursue other moves – for example, attaching a pick to move Randle or Fournier, thus opening up more minutes for Tobin or Grimes, and more chances on the ball for Bronson and Barrett; He also has a head coach who might challenge him to a tables, ladders, and chairs match if he makes one. He still has the pieces he trades for a star – although if he doesn’t think Mitchell is worth it all for it, he might find himself waiting a long time to break into one. (Expect to hear Shay Gilgeos Alexander discuss very loudly among Knicks fans and media types.)

Appreciation may be the best part of courage; On a long enough timeline, however, it can look pretty much like doing nothing. The wait is the hardest part, especially in the East that gets stricter every minute, but Rose, for better or worse, seems content to stick to his plan. Knicks fans can only hope this is the right guy, and that his patience — and theirs — will eventually be rewarded.

#Knicks #Donovan #Mitchell

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