Basketball

Donovan Mitchell trade rumors: Knicks biggest competition just stepped out

The latest Donovan Mitchell trade rumors indicate the field is shrinking for the Utah Jazz guard. 

After Kevin Durant announced his intention to continue on with the Brooklyn Nets, all sights in the trade market turned toward the Utah Jazz and Donovan Mitchell, the next best available star.

Mitchell has been connected to the New York Knicks seemingly all offseason, with other teams being hinted at as well.

Shortly after the Durant situation concluded, Ian Begley of SNY reported the Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the teams to recently inquire with the Jazz and open a discussion centered on Mitchell.

Well, as quickly as that developed, it all came undone for those two teams.

Cleveland Cavaliers exit Donovan Mitchell trade talks

The Cavaliers, just a few days after opening trade talks with the Jazz, exited them. Begley followed up on the Cavs, reporting that they now have ended discussions with Utah:

Cleveland Cavaliers have removed themselves from Donovan Mitchell trade talks, per SNY sources. Doesn’t seem like there are any suitors at moment who can approach what Knicks can offer Utah – even if you take RJ Barrett off the table. So this trade is still NYK’s to lose.

— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 26, 2022

The Cavs should have been considered the Knicks principal opponent in their hunt to land Mitchell. Mitchell’s other desired destinations — the Nets and Heat — have significant obstacles to overcome to land him. Brooklyn can not roster both Mitchell and Ben Simmons, and the Heat don’t have as much flexibility to fit the package Utah wants.

Cleveland had plenty of young pieces that could be modulated within a deal without sacrificing the talent on the team. Much like the Knicks, there were plenty of directions a deal between those two teams could have gone.

Cleveland exiting trade talks indicates Utah is being stringent on their price. The Knicks and Jazz reportedly stopped talking about Mitchell for a while before rebooting trade talks recently. Utah has turned down an offer involving Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, and draft picks. One has to assume the Jazz’s goal in all this is to obtain RJ Barrett.

It’ll be interesting to see how the discussions go now that the market has gotten one team smaller for Mitchell.

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