Knicks’ hopes of touchdown Donovan Mitchell may hinge on assistant

Knicks’ hopes of touchdown Donovan Mitchell may hinge on assistant

Late within the night time on Feb. 7, after the Jazz had rolled over the Knicks in Salt Lake City, Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant and Donovan Mitchell huddled briefly in a hallway.

Bryant lower the assembly quick. “Got to see my former boss,” Bryant stated, referring to Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. Off went Bryant. They will see one another once more Sunday night time on the Garden when Mitchell makes his lone go to of the season with the Jazz.

Of the assistant coaches senior adviser William Wesley added to the Knicks’ employees, Bryant is the one one standing. Mike Woodson left for his alma mater, Indiana, throughout final season. Payne formally left Friday for his alma mater, Louisville, the place Mitchell performed.

According to a supply, Bryant is a key determine within the Knicks’ long-term hopes of Mitchell tiring of enjoying in one of many NBA’s most obscure markets in Salt Lake City.

The Knicks don’t have cap house this summer season and touchdown a star in a commerce — utilizing president Leon Rose’s relationships — nonetheless is a part of their far-flung grasp plan. Rose was previously Mitchell’s agent at CAA.

Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell (r.) talks with then Jazz assistant Johnnie Bryant in 2019.
NBAE through Getty Images

Much to his dismay, Mitchell bought handed up by the Knicks within the 2017 draft in favor of Frank Ntilikina. There have been some scouts pushing for the Westchester star whose father, Donovan Sr., works for the Mets in alumni relations.

Mitchell spends most of his offseasons within the New York space. Last August, Mitchell was in Jamaica, Queens with Naomi Osaka, who resurfaced her hometown courts and staged a ceremony. Mitchell and Osaka are every shoppers of BodyArmor.

Mitchell got here to lend Osaka help, mentioned Osaka’s journey, however declined to speak concerning the Knicks or their new addition, Kemba Walker. Mitchell indicated it was, actually, too near dwelling.

Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell (l.) shoots in opposition to Mitchell Robinson (r.) throughout a Jazz-Knicks recreation on Feb. 7, 2022.

Even if Mitchell appears to go away Utah — and one journalist tweeted Mitchell is a first-round exit away from considering it — do the Knicks have the belongings to get a deal achieved with the Jazz, who at the moment are overseen by former Celtics guru Danny Ainge?

The 25-year-old explosive combo guard, averaging 25.7 factors and 5.5 assists this season getting into Sunday, has three seasons and $98 million left on his contract.

Despite this morose season, the Knicks nonetheless really feel they’ve participant flexibility in buying and selling for stars in a blockbuster package deal. RJ Barrett and first-round picks might must be a part of it.

The Knicks have 5 first-round picks over the subsequent 4 years. Barrett may very well be on the lookout for a most rookie contract extension this fall — a deal that arguably is a danger as a result of a few of his analytics present inefficiency.

Donovan Mitchell
The Knicks must hope Donovan Mitchell will probably be fed up with not profitable with the Jazz.
Getty Images

The Knicks can also add to any package deal this summer season with movable expiring contracts in Walker, Alec Burks, Cam Reddish and Nerlens Noel.

They’d a lot desire to carry out hope Derrick Rose makes a comeback subsequent season moderately than commerce his expiring deal. If the Knicks are invested in Julius Randle, 2020 lottery decide Obi Toppin is also expendable.

Indeed, the Knicks may have the precise pawns. As injury-plagued as Noel’s season has been, his contract isn’t assured for 2023-24.

Because of impossible-to-reach incentives, Noel’s contract has solely $18 million of assured cash. The incentive bonuses for Noel, The Post has discovered, are reaching the NBA Finals and profitable Defensive Player of the Year.

The Knicks can most likely put forth a aggressive deal particularly if Mitchell warns different groups he needs New York. At this level, it’s actually all on Mitchell.

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