How Knicks stack up against other Donovan Mitchell suitors?

Donovan Mitchell, Knicks, RJ Barrett

After getting a sense of what the New York Knicks would like to offer for Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz are reportedly scouring the market around the league for a better package.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, “the Jazz have several other teams who have expressed interest in acquiring Mitchell, such as Washington, Miami, Toronto, Charlotte, Sacramento and Atlanta.”

So, how do the Knicks stack up against the potential packages of the other Mitchell suitors?

Washington Wizards

The Wizards have longed for a Bradley Beal co-star in the nation’s capital since John Wall’s stock went down with injuries and was subsequently traded. Since then, there was a revolving door of co-stars from Russell Westbrook to Spencer Dinwiddie and now, former Knick Kristaps Porzingis.

A Porzingis-Mitchell straight swap is feasible, but the Jazz are looking for young players on rookie deals and team-friendly contracts. The quartet of Kyle Kuzma, Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert might do. Still, the Wizards fall short in matching Knicks’ draft equity.

The Wizards owe their 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected) to the Knicks, one of the three future first-rounders from Oklahoma City Thunder for 11th overall pick Ousmane Dieng. The pick is top-12 protected in 2024, top-10 protected in 2025, and top eight in 2026. It will turn into a 2026 and 2027 second if not conveyed.

This means the Wizards could only attach their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to any Mitchell package. They would need a third team to supply more draft picks.

Miami Heat

The Jazz reportedly rebuffed an underwhelming package from the Heat with the reigning Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro as the headliner.

Like the Wizards, the Heat are short of draft picks since they owe the Thunder a 2025 top-14 protected first-round pick. If not conveyed, the pick becomes unprotected in 2026.

Plus, Kevin Durant is higher than Mitchell on their priority list. Any deal would need a third or fourth team to meet the multiple picks requirement.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors could give the Knicks a run for their money. They own all their picks, meaning they could send their 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks and pick swaps, but Jazz CEO Danny Ainge will likely ask for Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, which the Raptors have been reluctant to give in a Kevin Durant trade.

Masai Ujiri would prefer a Barnes-Mitchell-Fred Van Vleet-Pascal Siakam core, leaving OG Anunoby and Gary Trent, Jr. plus salary fillers as a potential package for the Jazz star. But that core would not scream a title contender worthy of mortgaging their future and hurting their present depth.

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets must be salivating for a Mitchell-LaMelo Ball backcourt, but due to their previous dealing with the Knicks, their odds are slimmer than the Raptors and the Knicks.

Remember when the Knicks kicked the can further down the road in the 2021 draft that netted them a top-18 protected 2022 first-round pick for 19th overall pick Kai Jones? The Knicks flipped that for Cam Reddish at the trade deadline. The pick did not convey in this year’s draft and the Hawks sent that to San Antonio as part of the Dejounte Murray package. It is top-14 protected in 2024 and 2025 and becomes 2026 and 2027 second-rounders if still not conveyed.

This means the Hornets are limited to a couple of their own first-round picks (2026, 2028 or 2027, 2029) plus 2023 top-14 protected first from Denver (top-14 protected in 2024 and 2025) in any Mitchell package.

A Gordon Hayward reunion with the Jazz may be nostalgic, but it does not inspire. Even if they throw in James Bouknight, it will not trump any Knicks or Raptors package.

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings are limited to three first-rounders (2023, 2027 and 2029) since they owe the Hawks a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2024 (top-12 in 2025 and top-10 protected in 2026) in the Kevin Huerter trade.

The Jazz might be willing to take a flier on Davion Mitchell and take Harrison Barnes’ expiring salary. But then again, it boils down to draft equity.

The Kings need more picks before they could dream of a De’Aaron Fox-Donovan Mitchell-Domantas Sabonis trio.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks can dangle a combination of John Collins and either De’Andre Hunter or Onyeka Okungwu plus three first-round picks (their 2023 and 2029 selections and a lottery-protected first-round pick from the Kings in 2024).

But Collins, who is just entering the second year of a $125 million, five-year deal, is not the ideal headliner that the Jazz want in a Mitchell trade. Unless Atlanta can rope in a third team to flip Collins for additional draft picks, their chance to form a Murray-Mitchell-Trae Young trio is slim.

The Jazz can’t find any package that could top the Knicks’ draft equity. Unless the Raptors offer all their four first-rounders and Barnes, which is unlikely to happen, Ainge cannot leverage Leon Rose to give up five to six first-round picks plus the Knicks’ young core.

Mitchell in Knicks uniform is the likeliest outcome when it’s all said and done.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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