Today, over at The Athletic, Shams Charania gave a non-update update on the status of the Donovan Mitchell trade discussion between the New York Knicks and the Utah Jazz. He wrote: “The Knicks’ asset pool — up to eight first-round draft picks and young players such as Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, and Obi Toppin — gives them a clear opportunity to acquire Mitchell, but sources say talks so far have moved slowly and the sides are far from an agreement.”
Shams went on to say:
Mitchell has spent the summer in his usual offseason routine: high-intensity workouts and time with his family and friends. Sources said the three-time NBA All-Star has not requested a trade or attempted to force his way out of Utah, but should the franchise move toward a full rebuild a competitor like Mitchell would prefer to be in an environment geared toward winning now, not later.
Talks are expected to continue this week. Yesterday, Steve Popper wrote about the Donovan Mitchell situation over at Newsday. (Behind a paywall.)
Allegedly, Danny Ainge asked for all of the Knicks’ eight first-round draft picks to start the negotiations. Popper opined: “Credit to the Knicks’ front office for putting their affection for stars (Mitchell in particular) aside and pushing away from the table at that request. Mitchell may not be a perfect fit as the star the Knicks need, but he is a star and they’re not wrong to pursue him and worry about it later. But the cost is not something they should worry about later.”
At least one confirmed new Knick is Jalen Brunson. In the same article, Popper wrote about the new Knick’s history with head coach Tom Thibodeau.
When Thibs was still just an assistant on the Knicks, and Rick Brunson was a guard on the squad, they taught young Jalen the ropes. According to Popper, “After practices at Purchase College, where the Knicks conducted their workouts in those days, the court would be taken over by the young children of Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and others, including Rick Brunson.” (Which feels me down a John Starks, Jr. rabbit hole, naturally.)
Last week, Jalen also stopped by JJ Redick’s podcast to discuss joining Thibs in New York. “Honestly, I’m excited for it, because this is a different type of accountability,” said the 25-year-old point guard. “Like they know I’m the type of person who likes to be coached and likes to be pushed. And so to have something like that where you can possibly cross lines but knowing that it’s all out of love and all out of respect, I mean, they know what type of person I am, how I’m made up.”
Here’s a video that explains why Brunson is the most underrated guard in the NBA. **I** didn’t say it, some random YouTuber did. I just thought you might enjoy the content on a slow news day.
At the Miami Pro League, our high-flying, delightful dunker Obi Toppin has been scorching the courts with a little help from Cleveland Cavalier Darius Garland. Garland, who signed a five-year, $193 million rookie max contract extension with the Cavs in July, fed some insane lobs to our Obadiah, the reigning Slam Dunk Campion. Fans need to vote these two into the next All-Star Game for the alley-oop potential alone. Someone tell Adam Silver to fix it: this will be a ratings bonanza!
Garland is an undeniable baller. Last season, he averaged 21.7 points, 8.6 assists, and 3.3 rebounds, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from deep. Obi was no slouch, either, averaging nine points, 3.7 rebounds, and about a thousand volts of electricity in 17.1 minutes per game last year.
Let’s hope Jalen Brunson will be as adept as Darius in feeding the lob-hungry Cerberus that is Obi, Mitchell Robinsonand jericho sims.
Peace until next time. Until then, he’s more of Obi dunking in Miami.