The New York Knicks appear to be a stone’s throw away from landing a superstar. Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Donovan Mitchell might just be their guy and a former teammate of his sees the scoring dynamo winding up at MSG.
Ingles: Mitchell’s Ties to the City of New York a Major Pull Factor For Knicks
Orlando Magic forward Joe Ingles spent five seasons with Mitchell on the Utah Jazz and would know better than most where his head is at and how the Knicks can capitalize off of it, as his comments on 97.5 KSL The Sports Zone suggest, per New York Post reporter Christian Arnold:
“This is like non-bias, no outside info, I think he’ll play for New York one day, whether that’s sooner or later,” Ingles said on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. “I think it would be great for New York and I think it would be great for him. Whether or not that actually happens we’ll wait and see.”
Mitchell hails from Elmsford, NY, and lived for the bulk of his formative years in the northeast. With a rich history of playing at Harlem’s Rucker Park to having roots in the city, Mitchell taking the MSG floor would be the latest in a series of NBA players making hometown returns with the influx of power players have to move and demand trades.
Additionally, Mitchell’s scoring punch has not been backed up with playoff success thus far. Mitchell’s 27.8 PPG rank ninth in history. Despite this, he’s been bounced in the first round four times and has yet to see a Conference Finals.
The Knicks bested Mitchell’s Cavaliers in a gentleman’s sweep of their 2022 first-round series. Joining the Knicks would jolt the fanbase in the Big Apple and add to a rivalry that seems to be brewing between both teams. Can Leon Rose make it work?
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One Failed Attempt At Landing Mitchell Could Be Made Ancient History
In a recent interview, former Knicks GM Scott Perry viewed the risk of conceding considerable draft capital and depleting the roster in 2022 as weightier than acquiring a star in Mitchell who had failed to see a Conference Finals, thus leaving Mitchell as open for the Cavs to make a play for.
The Knicks can wait until the summer of 2025 to back up the Brinks truck on Mitchell and attempt to build a super team in New York. Or, they can make a strong push for Mitchell prior to the trade deadline and strengthen their Finals chances with the season off to a rocky start.
Ingles also said that Mitchell is ‘really enjoying it there,’ in Cleveland. In today’s NBA, joy and contentment are heavily contingent on winning. Where the Cavaliers and Knicks wind up in the standings once the calendar turns to 2024 will be a major determinant in the likelihood of a deal getting done.