For much of the 2022 offseason, the New York Knicks were rumored to be interested in trading for Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell ended up being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Howard Beck recently said that Mitchell still wants to play in New York. Also, according to Bill Simmons, Mitchell leaving Cleveland is the “worst kept secret” in the NBA.
Knicks forward Josh Hart spoke on the everlasting rumors connecting Mitchell to the Knicks.
“Those are never going to go away,” Hart said. “He’s from New York. New York is never going to let that go away. So you’ll never know what happens. That’s for the future, that’s for Knicks Twitter to talk about, and have rumors about, and put up stats of God knows what. But everyone knows that will be an underlying thing.”
Hart then spoke about the fact that Mitchell’s father works for the New York Mets.
“Well yeah, his dad works for the Mets,” Hart said. “That’s the thing — people love to make their own narrative. People don’t know the behind-the-scenes things, stuff. Throw out the first pitch at the Mets game and people say, ‘He loves New York, wants to go to New York.’ Don’t know that his dad works for the Mets for 20 years or he’s from New York. You always have so many underlying things where people have no idea, they see just one photo and see something and just run with it.”
Mitchell is off to a great start to the 2023-24 regular season, his second season with the Cavaliers franchise. He’s averaging 35.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game in two appearances with the team.
Arguably his best game of the season so far came against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 27. Mitchell stuffed the stat sheet, seeing as how he dropped 43 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks in 42 minutes of playing time. Despite Mitchell’s impressive two-way performance, the Cavaliers lost to the Thunder by a final score of 108-105.
Before he was traded to the Cavaliers, the 27-year-old spent the first five seasons of his pro career playing for the Utah Jazz. He earned three All-Star nods as well as a spot on the 2017-18 All-Rookie First Team during his time with the Jazz.
In his final season with the Jazz, the 2021-22 season, Mitchell averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
If the Cavaliers make Mitchell available for trade in the near future, expect the Knicks to pursue him, as a report from earlier in the month stated that the team is monitoring him as a trade target along with Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns.