The Knicks were viewed as the most likely trade destination for Donovan Mitchell. Even though New York and Utah have been engaged in trade talks for a while, in a surprise move the Jazz sent their star to Cleveland instead.
Reportedly, Utah did not even circle back to the Knicks after receiving the offer from the Cavaliers, effectively taking away New York’s chance to outbid Cleveland.
It was reported and later confirmed by an anonymous source from the Jazz organization that the team did not like people from the Knicks attending a playoff game between the Mavericks and the Jazz to see Mitchell. In addition, New York was the player’s preferred destination.
Naturally, it was speculated that they that Utah handled the trade was a result a retaliation to New York and Mitchell. According to a source that spoke to Zach Lowe, that is not the case.
“Emotions can play into this,” Lowe said on The Lowe Post podcast, per RealGM. “I’ve been assured by the Utah side that ‘No, look, we’re mature people. Yes, we were upset with particularly the Mavs’ game incident, but we’re not going to make decisions based on those kind of things that now happened four months ago or whatever. We’ve made the best deal possible.’”