Joe Ingles still believes a Knicks pairing lies in Donovan Mitchell’s future

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) controls the ball against New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the 2023-24 NBA season, Orlando Magic forward Joe Ingles boldly claimed that Donovan Mitchell would find his way onto the New York Knicks’ roster at some point in his future. The Feb. 8 trade deadline negated that assertion for this year. That doesn’t mean it still can’t happen down the road.

Joe Ingles still holds firm to Donovan Mitchell playing for the Knicks eventually

Ingles doubled down on his take in recent comments shared by Stefan Bondy of the New York Post:

“I think when there was talk about him coming to New York, the team wasn’t doing that great. I think the way the team is now — I think he’s pretty happy with the way the things are going in Cleveland,” Ingles, an Australian, said. “But it still wouldn’t surprise me. … He’s a New York kid. If I could play in Melbourne and make the same amount of money, like, why wouldn’t you think about it?” 

Ingles may know exactly where Mitchell’s head is at, considering they played together for five seasons on the Utah Jazz.

While the 10-year veteran sharpshooter noted the Cavaliers’ success this season as a reason for him to stay, he believes that hometown attraction could sway the 2024 All-Star in his 2026 free agency. Or, it could facilitate a forced trade before that.

What would draw Mitchell to the Knicks & how would New York benefit from his hopeful arrival

Mitchell is a native of Elmsford, NY. He grew up with ties to the Big Apple. It was a major storyline surrounding the Knicks’ reported pursuit of the Louisville product earlier this year.

The 27-year-old shooting guard has not experienced much playoff success in his pro tenure thus far. Should the Cavaliers (41-24), currently the East’s No. 3 seed, flop again in the playoffs, especially to the Knicks, his eyes may wander and validate Ingles’ adamancy.

Ingles went on to say that Mitchell’s decision ultimately wouldn’t “change my life one bit.” However, it would drastically change the Knicks’ title outlook.

Even with their current core intact, Mitchell would become their No. 1 option. The Knicks could greatly benefit from his scoring prowess. The playoffs are where he’s shined individually. On a Knicks team with a championship-level defense, he could get his strongest shot at a ring, all while doing so at home.

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