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Knicks strike out on Donovan Mitchell deal; Jazz trade him to Cavaliers

DALLAS, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 10: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on February 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Ronald Martinez | Getty Images

Donovan Mitchell is not coming home. And the Knicks still don’t have a superstar.

The Jazz have traded the guard to the Cavaliers, according to ESPN. Utah is reportedly getting back three unprotected first-round picks, plus two pick swaps, in return. And The Athletic reports they will also get Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton, with Sexton doing a four-year, $72 million sign-and-trade as part of the deal.

That is a lot to give up for one player. And you could certainly argue the Knicks were wise to draw the line, especially if the Jazz demanded RJ Barrett. But still. Knicks president Leon Rose and right-hand man William “World Wide” Wesley came to town with the promise of using their connections and relationships to finally deliver star players to the Garden. And Mitchell is a star from the region who clearly wanted to be a Knick. And now he’s going to Cleveland.

Also: This is why Rose’s refusal to speak to the media is a disgrace. Knicks fans want to know what happened here. The team made a high-profile pursuit of a big name who would have generated a windfall of excitement and publicity. And again, he is now headed to Cleveland.

Fans deserve more than some silly statement from Rose about Barrett’s recent extension. Or a state media interview with Mike Green on MSG. If Rose wants to run the Knicks, he should act like it. Take questions, face any potential criticism and sell the vision. The current standard is a slap in the face to fans. And it’s inexplicable NBA commissioner Adam Silver allows it to happen. Knicks fans deserve better.


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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.