The Toronto Raptors have been lurking in the background of Donovan Mitchell trade talks, as the Utah Jazz appear willing to listen to trade offers surrounding the dynamic backcourt leader. The New York Knicks have long been considered the leader in the clubhouse for Mitchell.
With some intriguing young talent in RJ Barrett and Jalen Brunson to build around, the Knicks could be a threat if they acquire Mitchell. After some draft day trades, the Knicks have a surplus of first-round picks that can be diverted to Utah in exchange for one of the best offensive guards in the league.
The Raptors might be making a somewhat serious push for Mitchell despite his asking price, but they have to be aware that they are currently a firm second place behind New York. The one bit of good news is that the Knicks’ offer is not as robust as it was in past weeks.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, talks between the Jazz and Knicks have “stalled out” at the moment. If Toronto is serious about making a run at Mitchell, one of their biggest competitors for his services appears to be at an impasse with Danny Ainge. Now is the time to swoop in.
Will the Toronto Raptors trade for Donovan Mitchell?
Considering the inflated price and the fact that having two 6-1 guards in the lineup (one of which is poor on defense) might not appeal to Nick Nurse, there are faults inherent in acquiring Mitchell. That doesn’t mean their pursuit should be totally abandoned, however.
In acquiring Mitchell, Toronto would get one of the game’s best young scorers and a player who can steer the backcourt for the next half-decade. While the Jazz have often flamed out in the playoffs, Mitchell has been a consistently excellent scorer and shooter when the chips are down.
Of course, one of the reasons that this deal likely stalled out is the fact that Utah was unimpressed by New York’s package despite an excessive number of first-round draft picks. If Utah values picks rather than players who can help them win now, getting a deal together might be challenging.
Even if Mitchell might be slightly out of Toronto’s price range, they should feel just a bit better about talks with New York starting to crumble. Not coming to Toronto might sting, but also, not going to New York will help keep one of the more inconsistent teams in the division mired at the bottom.