The New York Knicks and Utah Jazz agreement is in jeopardy after Barrett signed a contract extension. The contract is worth up to $120 million. According to Woj’s post, the Jazz and Knicks had been in talks and had narrowed the deal’s differences. However, they could not reach an agreement before the Knicks signed Barrett. For some reason, the Knicks chose Monday as their fictitious deadline to close a deal before signing Barrett.
The main query here is whether or not a Donovan Mitchell deal would even be affected by this. It appears to have played a significant role in the most recent negotiations. Despite that, Woj claims that it wasn’t what prevented an agreement from being reached. Barrett reportedly facilitated a deal, but it doesn’t seem like Barrett was ever the focus; instead, rather the unprotected picks.
Barrett was involved in trade negotiations, as Woj stated, but “hurdles remained.. concerning the total of unprotected first-round picks.” The unprotected selections that Ainge is requesting, not RJ Barrett, must be given by the Knicks. That is if they want to acquire Donovan Mitchell. The Knicks appear to be trying to convince their supporters that by re-signing Barrett, they are winning the negotiating process. Also, that when they sell Mitchell for picks, they have “won” the transaction.
Barrett doesn’t exactly suit the Jazz’s timeline from the Jazz’s point of view. It won’t even be during Barret’s new contract by the time the Jazz choose the players in the draught that will help them compete. If the Jazz is serious about rebuilding their tanks, that is. And that is undoubtedly Woj’s article’s biggest revelation: the affirmation that the Jazz is committed to a rebuild.
The Knicks’ Situation
The Knicks have the most picks to offer in exchange for Mitchell. That, however, doesn’t matter if they won’t part with them unprotected. If we’re being honest, the Knicks are starting to appear a little pitiful in this situation. Maybe they don’t think they can be a good team or attract other players in free agency because they don’t seem to want to offer unprotected picks. That is the only justification for not wishing to eliminate safeguards.
Here, the Knicks are engaging in risky play. They acquired Jalen Brunson, which helped them move up from last season’s extremely respectable 11th-place performance in the East to likely the 10th or ninth. The Knicks may lose their opportunity to draught a homegrown star if Ainge can acquire four unprotected picks in a multi-team trade including the Heat and Lakers, particularly if it also involves future unprotected picks from the Lakers. When Mitchell makes the all-star team with the Heat, a franchise he has expressed interest in playing for, the Knicks will be left with many mid-first-round picks and play-in tournaments.