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Ric Bucher: Jazz Took Lesser Donovan Mitchell Deal Out of Spite For Knicks

Photo: Elsa

Chris Broussard: “Do you think the Knicks blew it getting Donovan Mitchell?”

Ric Bucher: “Where they blew it was being so out front the last year that they were going to get Donovan Mitchell. I was told last week that the Jazz would be willing to take a lesser deal from another team than send him to the Knicks, and if they were going to send him to the Knicks it would have to be a deal that was so lop-sided that it made the Knicks look stupid for doing it. The Jazz wanted to extract a pound of flesh because for the last year – and we all heard it from the Knicks – it was like a foregone conclusion that the Knicks wanted Donovan Mitchell, so they were just going to swoop in and take him. The Jazz were kind of ticked off by that, wondering how invested Donovan was being there thinking he had one foot out the door -- 'could we have been a different team if that hadn’t been the case?' My understanding is that the last offer that the Knicks made included RJ, Quickley, ’24 and ’26 unprotected Knicks picks, the right to swap ’25 and ’27, Milwaukee’s first-round pick in ’25, and two second-round picks. If you tell me that you’re going to give me Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett vs. Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, and the rookie [Ochai Agbaji], to me RJ Barrett is the better package. I look at the difference between the unprotected picks – the unprotected picks for the New York Knicks are better than the unprotected picks from the Cleveland Cavaliers, so I feel as if the Knicks made an offer that was better than what the Cavs offered, but because there was a little bit of spiteful feeling it was going to cost them more.” (Audio Segment Above)

Listen to NBA insider Ric Bucher explain to Chris Broussard and Rob Parker of Fox Sports Radio’s ‘The Odd Couple’ why the New York Knicks failed to make a trade for Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, as Bucher says the Jazz were angry over the smug narratives centered around the foregone conclusion that the Knicks were destined to land Mitchell.

Check out the full audio above as Bucher details what the Knicks finals offer was to Utah, and how Cleveland ended up acquiring Mitchell despite a lesser deal.

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