Knicks are still keeping an eye on three trade targets: Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, Karl-Anthony Towns of Minnesota, and Mitchell.
It’s no secret that the Knicks have had their eye on Mitchell for a while, having missed their opportunity to sign him last summer when it was obvious he was available. Naturally, the rumors began to swirl after Mitchell publicly stated that he would not be signing a contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason, though he could do so next summer.
At the Cavs Media Day, Mitchell stated, “I want it to be known that I still have the opportunity to sign an extension next summer.” Few people, in my opinion, are aware of that detail. I’m very enthusiastic about our current endeavor. We could take a unique approach.
An encouraging sign of camaraderie is that the Cavs players have been working out together prior to the season. Mitchell said at his Media Day press conference, “It’s the first time in my career where I’ve worked out with everybody before the season even started.” “We worked on a number of issues that we felt needed to be fixed, but now we need to go forward and resolve them as a team, which I am sure we will do.”
Although Mitchell refrained from committing to a long-term contract with the team, he is fully committed to the upcoming campaign. The shooting and bench unit, two obvious weaknesses from the previous season that contributed significantly to the team’s first-round exit, were strengthened by the Cavaliers. Although Mitchell asking someone out halfway through the season is not unheard of, the likelihood is dwindling. Mitchell would probably make a trade request in the summer of next year. The problem is that Cleveland still needs to convince Darius Garland and Evan Mobley that they are serious about winning at this point, so New York’s wealth of young players and draft picks might not be as impactful as they believe.
However, Mitchell seems happy to be a member of the Cavaliers right now. Although Cleveland has the potential to be even better than last season—a possibility that would almost certainly keep Mitchell with the Cavaliers for the foreseeable future—the Eastern Conference is top-heavy. Like a lot of other teams, the Knicks will have to wait another season in the hopes that a superstar will ask to be traded.