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Donovan Mitchell Admits Knicks Trade Was 'Very Close' to Happening

The Knicks were on Mitchell's mind before blockbuster trade.

The Cleveland Cavaliers made arguably the biggest trade of the offseason when the team acquired All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz in exchange for four players and a load of draft stock

Before the trade on Sept. 1, many thought that a Jazz deal with the New York Knicks was in the works and heating up rapidly.

During his Cavs introductory press conference Wednesday, Mitchell admitted he thought the same.

"Once Rudy (Gobert) got traded, I kinda saw the writing on the wall, I think we all did." Mitchell said. "I had a feeling I was gonna get moved. I thought it was New York I'm not gonna lie to y'all. Who doesn't want to be home next to their mom?"

Mitchell, a native of Elmsford, New York, grew up just an hour away from Madison Square Garden. His openness to talk about a potential trade to the Knicks shows it was definitely a destination on his mind, as would have been able to suit up for his hometown 

Mitchell also spoke with ESPN about the trade speculation.

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“(It was) very close," he said regarding the likelihood of a Knicks trade. "I won’t say more than that but I know a little bit more than most. But definitely very close.”

Instead of joining a Knicks group that could've consisted of Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Immanuel Quickly depending on how a hypothetical trade would've played out, Mitchell now joins a young and talented core of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Caris LeVert. Cleveland finished seventh in the Eastern Conference last season, earning its first winning record since its last NBA Finals appearance in 2018. 

Mitchell will make his first appearance at Madison Square Garden as a member of the Cavs on Sunday, Dec. 4.


You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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