the Jazz are high on knicks wing RJ Barrett and were “pushing” for him to be included in a potential trade for Donovan Mitchell, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. Prior to agreeing to an extension, sources tell Jones that Barrett’s camp was “bracing” for the 22-year-old to be dealt away.
The extension will make including Barrett in a deal extremely difficult due to the “poison pill provision,” though the possibility reportedly remains. As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explains, the Jazz don’t have the necessary cap space or a trade exception big enough to absorb Barrett’s incoming salary, so for him to be included, a third team would likely have to be involved for salary-matching purposes .
As Steve Popper of Newsday writes, not everyone in the Knicks organization viewed Barrett as being worth $107MM over four years ($120MM with incentives), and others thought including him in a proposal for Mitchell might make the Jazz less likely to ask for additional draft compensation, which obviously wasn’t the case.
In addition to Barrett, Utah also values second-year guard Quentin Grimes and third-year forward Obi Toppin, according to Jones, who notes that both young players will likely have to part of the trade package if Barrett is not. However, New York has been “very hesitant” to part with Grimes to this point, sources tell Jones.
Like Marc Berman of The New York Post, both Popper and Jones hears the Knicks are still optimistic about landing Mitchell, but as with Grimes, Jones says they have been reluctant to include a “significant number” of unprotected first-round picks because they want to keep their options open for the future.
Jones still views the Knicks and Jazz as the most logical trade partners for Mitchell, but writes that both teams have questions that need answered first. Popper views Mitchell as a questionable fit with Jane Brunsonand thinks the Knicks shouldn’t trade away all of their own unprotected first-rounders to land him.
According to Adam Zagoria of NJ.com, Mitchell removed the Jazz from his Twitter bio on Tuesday, fueling speculation about the trade talks.