Basketball

Knicks just opened the door for Miami Heat to land Donovan Mitchell

The New York Knicks made their path to Donovan Mitchell more difficult, opening the door for the Miami Heat to land Mitchell in a trade.

The New York Knicks just extended their 2019 first-round draft pick, RJ Barrett, for four years on Monday night, making their path to land Donovan Mitchell much more difficult than it was previously. As a result, the Miami Heat — one of Mitchell’s preferred destinations — now have the pieces to create the best possible package to land Donovan Mitchell and could create a superteam that rivals the best around the league.

The Utah Jazz and Knicks have been in Mitchell trade talks for most of the summer, but Utah’s asking price was far too high for the Knicks’ liking. New York reportedly was timid on including a lot of draft picks in the package for Mitchell over fear that they would lose their flexibility moving forward, hitching their cart to just one star.

For a while, it seemed as though the Knicks would wait out the Jazz and hope the price came down, but they lost the staring match and apparently moved forward with Barrett while they could.

Now, due to a poison pill provision, involving Barrett in a deal — which is considered a must to make it worth it for the Jazz — is going to be very difficult. The door is open for other teams, and Miami might be able to swoop in and pick Barrett up.

Miami Heat could have the best Donovan Mitchell trade package available

Wes Golberg made a solid point on Tuesday morning regarding Mitchell and the Heat. With the Knicks making their path to Mitchell virtually untenable, the Heat suddenly have the best offer solely by virtue of patience.

The Knicks extending Barrett and reportedly unwilling to include a haul of picks basically means the Heat, by including Herro in a deal for Mitchell, could potentially match the Knicks’ best offer. Something that had recently seemed impossible.

— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) August 30, 2022

Tyler Herro, another first-round pick from 2019, has long been rumored to be a part of any substantial deal Miami makes this summer, whether that be for Kevin Durant, who is now off the table, or Donovan Mitchell.

The Heat, luckily for them, have not extended Tyler Herro yet (the deadline for them to do so is mid-October). Were they to have extended him, Herro would have the same poison pill provision that now exists on Barrett’s deal. Without that provision, the Heat have an attractive young star to offer Utah as well as draft picks, and they could make the most enticing offer.

It almost feels unfair for the Heat to swoop in and make a play for a star at the last minute as it seems like they always do, but Pat Riley has demonstrated a lot of patience with his current roster and is reaping the rewards. Waiting for the other flies to drop has put the Heat on an island with the Jazz and it could get them Mitchell at an extremely low cost. The unflinching resolve is a veteran executive move.

That said, it’s been rumored that the Jazz are content moving into the season with Mitchell, who has not officially requested a trade. His Twitter account might signal otherwise, though. The ball is back in Utah’s court… Or is that simply what Pat Riley wants them to think?

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