Former Knicks’ GM Shares Honest Assessment Of Donovan Mitchell

Scott Perry, Donovan Mitchell, Knicks, Cavaliers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

One of the open secrets in the NBA is that Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Donovan Mitchell wants to play for his hometown New York Knicks. He thought that is where he would be heading during the summer of 2022 when the Utah Jazz began their fire sale and started moving veterans from the roster.

Utah and New York were engaged in trade talks for months, but the Jazz kept asking for more and more, which made a deal difficult to get done. Eventually, talks broke off between the two and the Cavaliers swooped in with an offer.

It paid off somewhat for Cleveland, as they had their best non-LeBron James season since the 90s. They earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference but were eliminated with ease by the Knicks, who gave them a gentleman’s sweep in five games.

Many NBA insiders and even some of Mitchell’s former teammates believe he will eventually get his wish and play for the Knicks. If the Cavaliers can’t build off of last season’s success, those whispers are going to get even louder as they will want to recoup at least some value instead of losing him in free agency.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Scott Perry, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks Updates

Had Mitchell had his way, he would already be playing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. But, Danny Ainge seemed more intent on sticking it to an old rival than appeasing his star player.

The Knicks general manager at the time of those negotiations, Scott Perry, recently appeared on The Hoops Genius Podcast and the failed Mitchell trade was one of the topics discussed. Perry provided an honest assessment of the situation from the Knicks’ perspective on how things unfolded.

“…If the other team [wants] 2/3 or 3/4 of all your good young talent—& all your draft capital—is what’s left good enough?…If he was that singular force, Utah probably would’ve been in the Conference Finals…But he wasn’t…That’s not a criticism…just an evaluation that you must make…”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Scott Perry, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks Updates

That is a fair assessment from Perry. The Knicks were desperate to add a star to the roster and Ainge was attempting to take advantage of that. Little did New York, or the rest of the NBA know, that they already added a star in Jalen Brunson, their big free agency splash.

The asking price which Ainge set was unrealistic. He was looking to extract every asset the Knicks had at their disposal, whether it was draft picks or young players from the roster. It would have left New York with a barren roster, similar to how things unfolded when the Knicks acquired Camelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets.

That was an outcome Perry and the front office were looking to replicate. While it was disappointing at the time to not acquire another All-Star caliber player, the Knicks have turned out okay from it. If Mitchell desperately wants to play for the franchise, they can wait things out and land him when the time is right.

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About Kenneth Teape 3851 Articles
Kenneth Teape is an NBA Reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He covers all things across the league, including both news and editorial work. Make sure to follow Kenneth on Twitter at @teapester725.