NBA

Should Knicks pay huge price for Donovan Mitchell?

The New York Knicks are among the foremost teams rumored to be in the running to acquire Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell via trade.

After shipping three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in return for a mammoth haul, the Jazz brass revealed that its other multi-time All-Star was available as well — that is of course, for the right price.

And according to several NBA talking heads, Leon Rose and the Knicks are one of the teams in possession of feasible assets to offer Utah. Former Celtics forward Antoine Walker is part of that group, and in his mind, New York should absolutely jump at the chance to swipe the budding superstar right now, regardless of price.

“The Knicks have to entertain everything,” Walker said Friday on “First Things First” regarding a potential deal.

“I love the Jalen Brunson signing, but that wasn’t enough to make an impact in the East the way it’s shaped up right now.”

For Walker, the Knicks should pull out all — and he means all — the stops for the “Spida.”

“They may have to overpay. He’s 25 years old. He has three years left on his contract, with a player option on his fourth year. He’s from there, so you have a good chance of resigning him. And you have some pieces in play. If I’m able to keep RJ Barrett, Brunson and Julius Randle with him, I’m taking that chance.”

Nick Wright was far less enthusiastic about the potential swap, arguing that New York needed to slow its roll and exercise caution in potential discussions.

“It’s risky,” Wright said.

“Here’s what [the Knicks have in draft capital: Four picks in 2023, one in ‘24, two in ’25, and one in 2026-29],” he said.

“The Pistons and Wizards’ [2023] picks are so protected, it’s possible that they never convey. They’re just second-rounders, and if they do convey, it’s impossible that they’re ever in the top 10. … There’s a world that exists where this doesn’t work out, and the Knicks have no ability to get back to relevance. It’s far more risky than Antoine seems to believe. I would be squeamish if I were a Knicks fan.”

The Knicks finished 37-45 last season and have made the playoffs once in the last nine years, losing in five games to Atlanta in 2020-21. In addition, they’ve made it out of the first round once in the last 22 years.


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