No, the Knicks didn’t have the better offer from Donovan Mitchell

The Cavs won a bidding war against the Knicks to trade for Donovan Mitchell. And whether they liked it or not, they won with the better offer.

You can forgive some members of the Knicks’ front office for being frustrated that they didn’t land Donovan Mitchell. They were believed to be front runners throughout negotiations, up until the moment the Cleveland Cavaliers rushed in and landed him.

Corresponding Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, some in the Knicks organization believe Danny Ainge used their offer to grab additional value from Cleveland without giving them an opportunity to make a counteroffer. That may be true and a legitimate criticism, but the idea (also presented in Bondy’s article) that the Cavs didn’t have the better offer is absurd:

According to sources, the Knicks feel their proposals, with RJ Barrett at the heart with multiple first-round picks, were better than the Cavs’ final offer, which is subject to interpretation.

Did the Knicks really have a better offer for Donovan Mitchell?

Even if the Knicks were willing to match the future draft picks the Cavs put on the table – her last offer It was rumored to be two unprotected picks, two protected picks and two pick swaps – the actual players involved seem to be pushing this pretty clearly in Cleveland’s favour. The Knicks had reportedly offered RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Evan Fournier along with those picks.

Fournier is a veteran of no real jazz value. Even if they could flip him for something else, there’s no guarantee they could have gotten anything better than rookie Ochai Agbaji (the No. 14) they got from Cleveland. Toppin was drafted No. 8 in the 2020 NBA draft but his first two seasons have been underwhelming at best and he’s not even a full year younger than Lauri Markkanen, who has a team-friendly deal and is averaging 14.8 points at 58, 2 true shooting percentage scored last season.

And while Collin Sexton missed almost all of last season with a torn meniscus, he’s still only 23, has a far better track record than Barrett, and re-signed to a four-year, $72 million deal, which is a lot less than that, what Utah Barrett would have had to pay. Call me crazy but I would pick the Cavaliers package any day of the week and twice on Sunday. No, the Knicks didn’t have the better offer from Donovan Mitchell

John Verrall

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