Spida-Mitchell : Far From Home

Photo Credit by Donovan Mitchell

        On September 1, 2022 ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that guard Donovan Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. A trade that included Lauri Markkanen, Ochair Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps to the Utah Jazz. The nba is now perfectly balanced. There are legit 8-9 teams in each conference that are playoff bound teams. Before the trade, the Cavaliers were already an established team with their young core of Darius Garland , Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. One of the issues was that they needed another guard who can create his own shot to pair with Garland who carried that load by himself. The question is how did the Knicks blow it when they were reportedly the front runners in the trade?                                                                        

    Now if you’re wondering which pick is better from Cleveland or New York ? there’s no doubt about it, you’re banking on the Knicks picks. In hindsight, a backcourt with Jalen Brunson and Donovan Mitchell on the Knicks doesn’t seem that promising. Particularly if they’re not surrounded by some protection in the interior. Also adding him doesn’t make them a top 4 or 5 team in the eastern conference. Versus adding Mitchell on the Cavaliers they’re definitely a top 5 team in the east.

   The Cleveland Cavaliers picks don’t have that much value since their team is constructed to compete for the next 2-3 years. The only pick worth value would be 2026 unprotected pick. Particularly because there’s no certainty on how the Cavaliers will look in the future. We can’t predict Donovan will resign with the cavs or Mobley when he’s up for a max deal. In an article written by Woj on ESPN+ the Knicks initially offered a compelling offer to the Utah Jazz. Offering RJ Barrett, Obi toppin, Mitchell Robinson and three unprotected first round picks. Utah declined that offer. But in theory that’s one of the best offers they received, so why choose Cleveland’s picks ? Most notably in the trade with Cleveland , according to The Athletic, Sexton signed a four-year, $72 million contract in a sign and trade deal with the Utah Jazz.        

    The roster construction with the Utah Jazz including the Cleveland’s trade, Talen Horton Tucker and Stanley Johnson via Lakers trade for Patrick Beverley. Also a haul of players and draft capital for Rudy Gobert via Minnesota Timberwolves trade. The Jazz aren’t built at least right now to compete in the western conference. But it does give an indication that they’re not trying to compete this year to be a really good team. They could be on a mission to tank this season in hopes to be high in the draft to acquire the top prospect in 2023 Victor Wembanyama. A 7’4 8 foot wingspan talent that has an offensive skill set and shot blocking instincts that has wowed NBA scouts.    

         Now the Knicks were smart not to give up so much draft capital and players for Donovan Mitchell. Knowing that they weren’t in a position right now to be a contending team with the roster currently constructed even if he was acquired. But the way they conducted business is another thing that could potentially raise eyebrows from players around the league if they would want to play for New York. According to a Bleacher Report article, during a playoff game this past season with the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks. Knicks executives were in attendance at a particular game talking to both executives from each team on the same night. Why would you do that publicly when you can potentially alienate both teams knowing you’re conducting business with rival teams in the same conference to acquire key players from each team.                   

    “Nothing ever goes right with the Knicks, NOTHING !” ESPN Tv Personality Stephen A Smith in response to the blockbuster trade via social media. There’s no lies being said in his statement. The black cat that’s run around the public forum in Madison Square Garden since 1974 still lets her odious stinct be smelled in New York City. Look at the plethora of failures that comes with being a New York Knick.                

       In 1991 Pat Riley took the head coaching job in New York with a roster including Patrick Ewing , John Starks and Charles Oakley. Influences the “showtime” style of offense that is fast paced and won him 4 championships in LA with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He infused this style of play to Knicks from 1991 to 1995 and no championship to show for it.

          Larry Brown who’s one the most accomplished head coaches in basketball leading both collegiate and NBA teams to titles. Everywhere Brown coached up til the Knicks he turned teams into winning teams. For example San Antonio, LA Clippers, Indiana Pacers , Philadelphia 76ers , and the Detroit Pistons. Which is where he won his first title in the NBA without a top 75 player in the NBA. He coached the Knicks in 2005 and lasted only one year.                        

         In 2014 , Phil Jackson was announced the President of Basketball Operations with the Knicks. The Knicks adopted the Triangle Offense with a roster consisting of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, JR Smith, etc. An offense that won Phil 11 titles as a head coach. But still no championship to show for it and stepped down as GM in 2017. You can make the argument that he wasn’t the head coach of the Knicks at that moment in time which is why the triangle didn’t work. Another argument you can make is that if he was the coach what difference would it make ? it’s the New York Knicks , nothing goes right with that franchise.                           

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