In the article, Bailey quotes Howard Beck and Bill Simmons when they discussed the rumors that Donovan Mitchell still plans to find his way to the New York Knicks in the coming years. While this rumor does not have any hard evidence, Mitchell’s upbringing in New York does offer a small reason to believe in the rumor to an extent.
The buzz has only grown as Mitchell publicly refused to sign an extension as early as possible this summer with the Cavaliers, though this was the expectation going into this offseason. However, the chances of Mitchell wanting out of Cleveland are not zero if the team cannot have a better postseason than last year.
If Mitchell does request a trade, the New York Knicks have a stockpile of first-round picks and decent salaries to send to the Cavaliers in return. The problem arises in Cleveland’s current trajectory and standing. The best Knicks trade package does not make the Cavaliers any better, and getting significantly worse with Garland and Mobley on the roster only hurts the team.
Any Donovan Mitchell trade that sends him to New York would likely need to include three or four teams, netting the Cavaliers another level of similar skill as Mitchell provides. Other star players who find their names in rumors such as Jaylen Brown or Brandon Ingram could be a starting point for the Cavs, but the Knicks could just as easily trade for either player without the Cavaliers’ involvement. As for the Boston Celtics, they would almost certainly refuse any trade for Jaylen Brown that makes them worse just to gather picks.
Ingram could be a realistic target if the Zion Williamson experiment fails again, but Ingram so far in his career would be a tough downgrade from the heroics that Mitchell has accomplished in Cleveland.
In the end, the Cavaliers will not be navigating the trade market any time soon with their focus on the regular season. After their tight win against the Nets, their mindset needs to be on fixing the problems that led to a sloppy win and the loss that followed, and getting Jarrett Allen back on the court.