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RJ Barrett Update - Trade Rumors Still Churning

Well this is a twist

New York Knicks v Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 07: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz defends RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks during the second half of a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 07, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The weirdest, never-ending trade rumor of the summer is the Donovan Mitchell-RJ Barrett imbroglio.

For a long time, the New York Knicks insisted that the former Duke star Barrett was untouchable. Now, that may be changing as multiple sites suggest that the Knicks are reconsidering and may be open to moving Barrett after all.

Any deal would have many parts; whatever ultimately happens with Mitchell is going to be massive. Utah Jazz GM Danny Ainge has been at it long enough to know how to drive a hard bargain and he’s rarely bested.

However, Barrett, who is a life-long Knicks fan, has some leverage: if he doesn’t sign his extension, he’s worth much less in a trade. That would be a ballsy - and costly - tactic, but he could do it.

Or, for that matter, he could demand a max extension to have a trade go through.

Whatever he decides, while Barrett clearly wants to be in New York, being in Utah would have one huge advantage: one of the best things that can happen to an NBA player is to end up with a stable franchise and the Jazz are very stable. They’ve been well-managed and coached for decades. There could be worse places to end up, a lesson that Donovan Mitchell may learn soon enough and to his cost.