Kevin Durant just took himself off the open market, which means Donovan Mitchell is the next best piece available
On Tuesday, after a flurry of NBA trade rumor updates came out regarding Kevin Durant on Monday, the Nets and Durant’s representation released a joint statement indicating that the two parties are prepared to move forward with their partnership. This came after Durant had publicly requested a trade if the team was unwilling to make coaching and management changes.
While one has to believe that Durant is still someone who can be privately inquired about, a trade is unlikely to happen in the coming weeks.
In the process of taking his name off the open market, Donovan Mitchell became the next best piece available, which is horrible news for the New York Knicks.
After Kevin Durant’s announcement he’s staying in Brooklyn, keep your eyes peeled for a Donovan Mitchell bidding war
Things looked great for the Knicks’ chances of acquiring Mitchell, primarily because Miami’s focus was split between Mitchell and Kevin Durant. But now, with KD off the market, Miami can go all in on its pursuit of Mitchell if it still hopes to make a significant upgrade to its roster before the season.
The Knicks still may be able to land Mitchell, but Miami being more focused on him now will mean the price will go up, especially since they have attractive pieces to offer like Tyler Herro, Max Strus, or Gabe Vincent.
Bam Adebayo was speculatively mentioned as well in the Durant discussions, but it’s unclear if he would be on the table for a Mitchell trade.
Charania reported that the Knicks most recently offered the Jazz Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, and two first-round draft picks, but that Utah wants more. Things just got a whole lot more complex for New York, who may need to be willing to give up RJ Barrett in order to land Mitchell.