The New York Knicks have actively pursued Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Donovan Mitchell, but according to reports, were not willing to give up starting shooting guard Quentin Grimes to acquire him.
Knicks: Quentin Grimes Untouchable in Mitchell Trade Talks
As NBA Central tweeted per New York Post reporter Stefan Bondy, Grimes was off the table as a potential replacement in the Cavaliers’ starting rotation in any deal involving Mitchell:
Grimes has had his fair share of ups and downs this season. He started off the year strong from beyond the arc but carried a heavy burden in guarding opposing teams’ best wing players on a nightly basis.
After scoring in double figures in four of the Knicks’ first 11 games while shooting 39.7 percent from deep, Grimes has cooled off over the last seven games, failing to score over six points while shooting under 20 percent from the field and from the three-point line.
Nevertheless, Grimes holds an important position on the team on both ends of the floor. With his size and shooting ability, he carries one of the heaviest responsibilities on the team. Coupled with his youth, the 23-year-old sharpshooter has yet to reach his prime.
Yet, for the caliber of player Donovan Mitchell is, the Knicks’ front office not willing to include Grimes as a focal point of a potential deal comes as an eyebrow raiser. Adding Mitchell to the roster would make him the most potent scorer on the team.
However, the Knicks have maintained an elite defense for the last two seasons. While Mitchell is no slouch on the defensive end, his 108.4 defensive rating — good for No. 80 among all guards — in addition to his 6-2 frame would downsize the Knicks’ rotation. Mitchell has also put up big performances in the playoffs but has not been able to lead the Cavaliers or the Utah Jazz before them deep into the postseason.
Can the Knicks Make a Donovan Mitchell Trade Work Without Grimes Included in the Deal?
Contractually, Grimes is only making $2.38 million this season and will earn as much as $6.31 million in 2025-26. Meanwhile, Mitchell is one of the highest earners in the NBA at $33.16 million in 2023-24 and as high as 37.1 million in 2025-26.
Should Mitchell trade talks intensify, the Knicks may change their stance on Grimes’ untouchability, especially as the young guard has failed to play down the stretch of games in the Knicks’ last six games.
In order to entice the Cavaliers’ front office to relinquish Mitchell, the Knicks will have to propose a feasible offer which will likely have to include Grimes if they want to form a big-3 with Mitchell alongside Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson.