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NBA Insider Shuts Down Knicks, Donovan Mitchell Trade

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Are the New York Knicks ready to ditch Donovan Mitchell? A report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst hints at the possibility.

Mitchell’s future is in flux as his Cleveland Cavaliers face elimination from the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The five-time All-Star has already been ruled out for the Cavs’ potential demise against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, TNT) and his lack of a long-term deal in Cleveland hints that he just may have played his final game in wine and gold.

Nov 1, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) controls the

Nov 1, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) controls the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With two years left on his Cleveland contract, the idea of moving Mitchell should be a major talking point of the coming offseason. Appearing on the Wednesday edition of morning show “Get Up!,” ESPN insider Brian Windhorst declared that “a number of teams” would be interested in a trade: the Los Angeles Lakers are “absolutely” involved while the Brooklyn Nets would “certainly” put in an offer

But when asked if the Knicks would re-enter the Mitchell sweepstakes, Windhorst hinted that all the focus lays upon their own ongoing conference semifinal series.

“I don’t think … the Knicks are trying to win the Eastern Conference,” Windhorst said when host Mike Greenberg queried about the Knicks’ involvement.

While that’s far from an official exit, it’s perhaps an intriguing sign on where the Knicks view themselves entering the 2024 offseason.

Apr 26, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots beside

Apr 26, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots beside / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

New York infamously lingered in the hunt for the Empire State native Mitchell when the latter was traded by the Utah Jazz during the summer of 2022 but they eventually pulled out when the asking price was too high. A series of relatively low-profile deals (i.e. Josh Hart, OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa) has produced season saviors and postseason heroes while Mitchell has struggled to fulfill the potential that caused Cleveland to mortgage a good part of its future.

The Knicks, of course, will undoubtedly look to improve if and when this magic playoff ride stops, as they’ve built an undeniable appeal that should at least attract the attention of an established superstar. But their reported focus on the present is undoubtedly a sign of progress for a franchise that would constantly hang out on the early offseason rumor mill.

Instead, as Windhorst implied, the Knicks will move onto Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Indianapolis, where they’ll look to clinch their first conference final berth since 2000 on Friday night (TBD, ESPN).

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