Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz reacts after a dunk during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 2022 in New York City. The Jazz won 108-93. Sarah Stier/Getty Images


  • The Knicks and Jazz are at an impasse over Donovan Mitchell
  • Jazz president Danny Ainge is demanding four unprotected picks
  • Knicks president Leon Rose will have to make a decision soon

The New York Knicks and Utah Jazz are still on track to make a deal for Donovan Mitchell, but the reason for the delay has been revealed to be about draft picks.

Marc Berman of the New York Post first reported on the situation between both sides, with Jazz president Danny Ainge searching for a massive haul in exchange for Mitchell, particularly the number of unprotected draft picks.

"A source told The Post Ainge is after four unprotected first-round picks—not just two. That's no small gap," Berman wrote.

Mitchell's name has been in the rumor mill for about a month now since Utah sports radio host Patrick Kinahan reported that the Jazz and Knicks already had a deal in place for the All-Star guard.

Since the revelation, no deal has been formally announced to happen which as fans from both franchises remain anxious as to its status with the constant "will they, will they not" involving Mitchell.

Berman also added that the Knicks are not particularly picky as to who they send out for Mitchell because they fully believe in the potential of Mitchell pairing up with Jalen Brunson in the backcourt to attract another big-name free agent.

"The Knicks, too, aren't concerned with the exact player package—just the amount of first-round picks they give up... However, if they give up the entire farm of first-rounders, they will be hard-pressed to make another significant trade to make them a championship contender," Berman later added.

Shams Charania of The Athletic disclosed that the Knicks offered up Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin plus salary fillers, and two unprotected first-rounders–the offer that Ainge turned down as per Berman.

Using ESPN's Trade Machine, a package centered around Fournier, Toppin and sophomore Quentin Grimes is certainly possible as the Knicks are predicted to have an increase of eight wins.

However, it comes as no surprise that Ainge is after a ton of picks as it has been his strategy that helped rebuild the Boston Celtics into contenders after the "Big Three" era.

It is still widely believed that the veterans of the Jazz are on the trading block as Ainge looks to lead a rebuilding phase that kickstarted when he moved Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a massive haul.

The Jazz and the Knicks still have enough time to get a deal done since training camp is still a few weeks away, but it all hinges on Knicks president Leon Rose either parting ways with his treasure trove of picks or convincing Ainge to take the offer.

Danny Ainge, Utah Jazz
Newly hired alternate governor and CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge of the Utah Jazz watches warm-up before the start of their game against the San Antonio Spurs on December 17, 2021 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Chris Gardner/Getty Images