Knicks Barrett Extension Complicates Jazz, Mitchell Trade Talks

Aug 29, 2022, 9:48 PM
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the first half of a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 05, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The New York Knicks signed guard RJ Barrett to a contract extension Monday night, potentially complicating a trade for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of the Barrett extension and mentioned the impact it would have on a Mitchell trade.

“New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett is finalizing a four-year rookie extension that could be worth up to $120 million, his agent Bill Duffy of @BDA_Sports + @WME_Sports told ESPN, complicating the franchise’s offseason trade pursuit of Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

According to Wojnarowski, Barrett had been at the center of talks between the Jazz and the Knicks in a deal involving Mitchell. However, Knicks general manager Leon Rose set a Monday deadline for the Jazz to agree on a Mitchell for Barrett swap but extended the third-year guard when the two teams failed to come to an agreement.

“The Jazz greatly valued Barrett as part of any Mitchell deal with New York, and a deal without him would require the Knicks to relinquish far more draft assets than they’ve shown a willingness to do, sources said,” Wojnarowski reported.

Barrett is coming off a strong campaign with the Knicks in 2021-22 where he averaged 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in 70 appearances.

The third-year guard has started all but one of his 198 career games in New York after the Knicks selected him with the second overall selection in the 2019 NBA draft, and has seen his scoring average increase in each of his three seasons so far in the league.

While Mitchell’s stock may have taken a slight hit after the Jazz’s first-round exit to the Dallas Mavericks, there are very few flaws in the All-Star guard’s resume.

Over his five-year career in the NBA, Mitchell has never failed to lead the Jazz to the Western Conference Playoffs. During that stretch, the guard has never averaged fewer than 20.5 points per game, a half point better than Barrett’s career best.

The Jazz have Knicks have reportedly been in trade talks since early July after trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for five players and four future first-round draft picks.

With Barrett likely off the board, the Knicks still have up to eight draft picks they could send the Jazz, and a collection of other young players including Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Quintin Grimes, and Miles McBride.

Last week, ESPN reported that the Jazz preferred to have a Mitchell trade completed before training camp which begins at the end of September.

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