What Trade Made/Makes More Sense? The Melo Deal or the Rumored Mitchell Trade?

Z-Man asked:

How analogous is this situation to just before the Melo trade? This question continues to bug me.
-at that time Ujiri was kind of unknown, and we had Donnie Walsh, so while Dolan was more directly involved and the deal seemed imminent, it wasn’t clear that it would be such a massive overpay until the deal was made. Right now, it’s Aller vs. Ainge with less direct involvement and we didn’t just miss out on prime LeBron, so hopefully there is less desperation and a better outcome.
-while most here were not happy with the execution of the deal, when we amnestied Billups and acquired Tyson, and there was some hope that Amare would stay healthy, the whole MTA big 3 thing was pretty exciting…but there was still a feeling that we would never get past the Heat, and that that team was a capped out finished product. Expectations for a post-Donovan trade would be much lower with presumably more deals to come, but now there’s like 8 teams still ahead on paper just in the East of us instead of one or two. And there’s no clear path to leapfrogging any of those teams, other than massive improvements from both RJ and Julius.
-Melo was a bigger star with bigger expectations than Mitchell is right now. I don’t think there would be the same pressure on Mitchell to be who everyone wanted Melo to be, but given the impending overpay to Ainge, I’m not sure there actually won’t be even more pressure on Mitchell, or how he will handle it. Melo handled it pretty well for the most part.
-If we missed out on Melo, odds are we would have overpaid for Deron, which would have ended just as badly. If we miss out on Donovan, there isn’t anyone left out there to overpay.

So I am hoping beyond hope that this doesn’t happen, but if it does, I won’t have as much of a “hard ceiling beneath the Heat” feel, but I still don’t see a clear path forward.

Here’s my take:

It’s truly a fascinating question as to which team was better suited for a trade like this back then. I think that STAT playing like an MVP was really the tipping point back then. Since he was playing like an MVP, it made more sense to go “all in” on a second star, even if it worked out terribly because of STAT’s later injuries. However, Melo also truly upped his game when he got here in a way that many of us were hoping he would (since we were all saying, “If Melo starts shooting more threes, that should help his game and D’Antoni will presumably tell him to shoot more threes” and then Melo ended up shooting a lot more threes as a Knick, especially when D’Antoni got fired, since Melo clearly hated how much D’Antoni was telling him to shoot threes, but once D’Antoni was gone, Melo seemed to absolutely say, “Shit, now if we suck, it’s all on me” and promptly started to do all of the things D’Antoni had always been begging him to do. Granted, you can easily argue that D’Antoni was a dick about how he asked. Blame all around there).

That said, while the Melo Knicks appeared to be more set up for a star deal, you could easily argue that this year’s Knicks are actually better set up because there isn’t a STAT ready to collapse into injury hell on the team, and there will be enough left over to trade (probably, or should I say, “God please”) that they can go out and get a second star later who will want to play with Mitchell. Not necessarily a high usage guy, but someone at the wing or the power forward spot who would compliment Mitchell.

It’s also fair to note that the NBA dramatically changed how it worked soon after the Melo deal, making Melo and STAT a horrible combination (especially when paired with Tyson Chandler), as guys like STAT just couldn’t be traditional fours anymore and, heck, the traditional four didn’t exist anymore. Look at how David Lee went from All-Star to basically unplayable because he was the epitome of the traditional four (post game player who is not good enough on defense to be a center). We literally saw the modern NBA develop in the Heat’s 2012 postseason run as Lebron was, like, “Ah, yes, so I’m the four now.” Look at the Heat from 2011 to 2013. They went from playing a traditional center for about 35 minutes a game in 2011 to 25 minutes a game in 2012 to, like, 5 minutes a game in 2013. Bosh was a traditional four who could make the move to the five in a way that STAT and Lee couldn’t. Then the Warriors kicked that concept into overdrive with Barnes and then Durant as their fours (and most recently Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr).

All of that being said, like Z-man, I don’t think there’s a clear path forward with this Mitchell trade, either, and I’d prefer they just hold on to the gunpowder, as well, but I think it probably makes probably just a little bit less sense than it did to make the Melo deal. It’s all reasonable enough, though. This isn’t like the insane Noah/Rose/Lee offseason. If this was a non-Knicks team, I’d be looking at it and saying, “Yeah, I get it. I don’t like it that much, but I get it.” But I think the Melo trade, as awful as it was, still made more sense at the time, it was just painful to see Masai get every single last asset he wanted in that deal. Ugh.

And here’s the poll:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Let’s Expand the Grimes/Obi Debate to Include Immanuel Quickley

Okay, a couple of things.

1. I think the Knicks are eventually trading for Donovan Mitchell

2. If they do trade for Donovan Mitchell, Immanuel Quickley is almost certainly heading to Utah in the deal

3. I think he is likely going to be joined by one of Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin.

4. I think that there is at least a chance that the Knicks can offer other things that will hold their return on Mitchell to just one of those three guys, but it is unlikely.

So with that in mind, I was wondering what combination of two of those three guys would you be most willing to lose. While, again, firmly understanding that you don’t want to give up any of them, or trade for Donovan Mitchell to begin with.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Who Would You Rather Give Up In a Trade – Quentin Grimes or Obi Toppin?

As the Donovan Mitchell trade rumors abound, it sure sounds like any trade would involve Immanuel Quickley almost certainly going to Utah, but if the trade goes down, he’s not going alone. There would be at least a slim chance of Cam Reddish and Deuce McBride being enough to add to the deal, but that seems unlikely. There would probably have to be either Quentin Grimes or Obi Toppin also included in the deal (probably in place of Reddish and McBride, at least. Although you might need to include another player if Grimes is the one to go, for salary purposes. Obi can go by himself).

So forgetting whether you want to trade either of them or not, if you HAD to choose between the two, who would you rather see traded from the Knicks (along with Quickley and Evan Fournier) for Donovan Mitchell? We can just take it for granted that many of you wouldn’t trade either. That’s duly noted. It’s entered into the record, “Plenty of Knickerblogger posters would prefer not to trade either.” It is signed, sealed and on the record. This question, though, is based on the idea that you have to trade one of them, that “Neither” is not an option. With that in mind, while, again, fully having it noted on the record in a sealed, indestructible encasement so that no one can ever destroy or deny that you would prefer not to trade either of them, which one would you pick?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

The Athletic: Knicks, Jazz engage in Donovan Mitchell trade talks

From Shams:

The Jazz and Knicks have begun discussions on a potential trade to send three-time NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell to New York, sources tell The Athletic.

The Jazz are having conversations with multiple teams on a Mitchell deal, but the Knicks have emerged as the focused destination over the past several days, sources said. Both sides have discussed a deal framework in the past 24 hours, those sources said.

The Knicks possess eight future first-round picks — four of their own and four acquired via trades — to use in a package. New York also has stockpiled young players, such as Quentin Grimes who is believed to be of interest to Utah, sources said.

If, as the saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, this is like Cheech and Chong just stepped into the room circa 1978. The Knicks and the Jazz just match up far too well from a typical NBA trade perspective. The Knicks have a lot of picks and no stars, the Jazz have a star and not as many picks as they would like, so the Knicks trade the picks for the star, everybody wins. Of course, as we know, that’s not necessarily how these things end up going, as the “win now” move doesn’t always result in winning…now, but that is clearly the THEORY here, at least. And it is what drives most NBA trades. This would be a VERY typical NBA GM trade and, as I’ve been saying for a while, Leon Rose has struck me as a pretty middle of the road NBA GM, so this sounds about right. There’s no real reputational risk for Rose, since he’ll have acquired a STAR and people generally give you a lot of PR leeway for doing that.

Now, do Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett and Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson make remote sense as a starting five? No, not really, but we’ve all seen the roster so far, right? – the roster already doesn’t make sense! There are too many guys for not enough minutes, a consolidation trade was almost a given, and this is a consolidation trade that also lands the Knicks a star.

I figure we’re looking at Grimes, Fournier (for his salary to make the salaries work), one of IQ and Obi (maybe both) and five picks (two Knick picks and then three picks they acquired from other teams). The Jazz obviously want nothing to do with RJ considering he’s becoming a free agent himself soon (or will have to be extended this offseason). You don’t trade Donovan Mitchell to then rebuild around RJ Barrett. You rebuild around the high picks you’ll get and just surround those picks with interesting young supporting cast guys like IQ, OBi and Grimes.

I’ll be frank (but not that Frank), the Knicks before this trade seemed to have a low ceiling. With this trade they…also have a pretty low ceiling, but they’ll have a star, at least, even if he’s more around Top 20 than Top 10. He’ll probably average like, 30 points a game or some shit. And I won’t deny that there IS some logic to the idea that having Mitchell here makes it more likely that another star would force himself here to play with Mitchell the way that he would never do to play with RJ and Jalen Brunson (maybe Mitch and Sims). Do I see that as a LIKELY scenario? No, and Mitchell and Brunson are a terrible fit together and when you add RJ at the three, that’s a small ass team, with RJ and Mitch having to cover a lot of the defensive ground, but it will still be a pretty good team with some upside if Thibs can teach Mitchell how to play defense.

I don’t think this deal is that big of a deal. It wouldn’t be great, but it wouldn’t be awful, either.

You’d probably be looking at…

Mitchell (Hopefully still Quickley, at least?)

Use the room to add someone else (a wing? A shooter?) and you have yourself an interesting team and a pretty clear All-Star in Mitchell. He has a LOT of faults, but he has a lot of pluses, too, so I’m not too down on this trade (but, again, a lot of that is because I was already down on the Knicks’ future plans, so this isn’t any worse than that).

And, for this dramatic moment, we return the Knicks…poll!

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

NY Post: Jericho Sims signing three-year deal with Knicks

From Zach Braziller:

An afterthought at this time last year, Jericho Sims now has a home with the Knicks.

The 58th pick in last year’s draft is signing a partially guaranteed three-year deal worth just shy of $6 million with the franchise after being on a two-way contract, The Post has confirmed.

The former Texas star appeared in 41 games last year and averaged 2.2 points and 4.1 rebounds. His playing time increased in the second half of the season, and the 6-foot-10 big man registered four double-digit rebounding games.

It’s uncertain if the Knicks will use part of their room mid-level exception for this deal. There is also the chance they could free up space if they work out a sign-and-trade with the Mavericks to land Jalen Brunson, who has agreed to a four-year, $104 million contract.

I’m a bit confused. Do the Knicks really not have enough cap room before using the room to give Sims less than $2 million a year? That seems hard to believe. In any event, this was a nice, low-cost signing that gives the Knicks some injury security in case Mitchell Robinson gets hurt (which is obviously not something that would shock you if it occurred). I was thrilled to see Sims develop late in the season when given a chance to play. I was okay with him being Mitch’s main backup this year, but hopefully he’ll still play a bit as the third-string center.

This is one of those moves that would be a good idea no matter what direction the Knicks were going in, so it’s nice to see.

The Charlie Ward Curse Is Over! Mitchell Robinson Resigns for 4 Years/$60 Million

It sounds like the delay on Mitch returning was Masai making a late push to sign him, but Mitch ultimately stuck with his Plan A, which was reported days ago, of coming back to the Knick for four years and $60 million.

I am pumped, of course. Spending money in this offseason and then extending RJ and resigning Mitch always made the most sense if the Knicks weren’t going to rebuild, so Rose going the opposite direction last year always puzzled me, but at least Rose knows well enough to pivot, and here we are with Brunson, Mitch and Hart, the best trio of Knick free agents…ever?

My biggest problem last year was that the Knicks couldn’t be satisfied with the team they had, and the moves suggested that they were (coupled with a general, “Maybe someone good will come later?”), while these moves are, “We gotta change our ways,” and I like that.

The Knicks had not resigned any player that they drafted to a second contract since Charlie Ward’s second Knick deal, over thirty years ago (they reacquired THJ and kept David Lee and Nate Robinson for the rarely used qualifying offer season of their rookie deal, but never an extension or second contract at the close of the first), so this is major Knick history.