Donovan Mitchell has admitted he "came close" to heading to the New York Knicks, before eventually being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The former Utah Jazz guard and three-time All-Star was part of arguably the biggest trade of the offseason, with the Jazz receiving three unprotected first-round picks.

They include two future first-round pick swaps in guard Collin Sexton and stretch forward Lauri Markkanen, as well as Ochai Agbaji, the 14th selection from this year's NBA Draft.

Mitchell had been one of the most desirable names on the market after it became clear the Jazz were entering a rebuild following their trade of three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Despite being "excited" to be in Cleveland, Mitchell – who is from New York – told ESPN he was close to signing for the Knicks.

"Very close, I won't say more than that, I know a little bit more than most, but definitely very close," he said. "I was truly excited when I got traded [to the Cavaliers], but we were, it was, it was close [to the Knicks]."

He also disputed comments from Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, who claimed earlier in the week that Utah's players last season "didn't really believe in each other".

"I don't think we didn't believe [in each other]," Mitchell riposted. "I said at the end of the season, 'don't trade [Gobert]. Let's figure this out, let's do.' And that didn't happen.

"For [Ainge] to say that after six months around the team, I disagree. But you know, at the end of the day, that's his decision."

The 25-year-old spent five seasons in Utah, averaging 23.9 points per game, as well as 4.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge says the side lacked resolve and did not believe in each other last season leading to their first-round playoffs exit.

Former Phoenix Suns player and head coach Ainge stepped into the Jazz role in January, after the side had the best record (52-20) in the Western Conference in 2020-21.

But the Jazz bowed out of the 2021-22 playoffs at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, after a 49-33 season.

Key players including Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have since left, along with head coach Quin Snyder who resigned in June, marking a period of change for Utah.

"What I saw during the season was a group of players that really didn't believe in each other," Ainge told reporters on Monday. "Like the whole group, I think they liked each other even more than what was reported, but I'm not sure there was a belief.

"When we got to the playoffs I thought, well this is a team that has had some disappointing playoffs so I thought maybe they're just waiting for the playoffs. I gave them that benefit of the doubt, but it was clear the team didn't perform well in the playoffs again.

"I believe every one of these guys went into every game believing they were going to win, don't get me wrong on that. I'm just saying when adversity hit, the resolve, you could see in a team that has a true belief in having each other's back or one another.

"I think individually they have resolve, but I just don't believe collectively they did. So you see a lot of players trying to do it on their own as the believe in one another wasn't as great as teams I've been on and around that I've seen."

Jazz general manager Justin Zanik claimed that the side's offseason changes, trading out All-Stars Gobert and Mitchell, was about opening up another window to challenge for an NBA title. Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji all joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the Mitchell trade.

"You have these conversations and there's a return and you start balancing what you can acquire on the market for perennial All-Star players, and we traded two of them this summer, that necessitates us to make a decision for the organisation that is hard," Zanik said.

"We've got really good players, but you have a timeline you want to open up with a maximum window.

"Previous results kind of told us who we were. It wasn't just a one-year thing. This was a good three-year period where we won a lot of games and had a lot of success, but we were tapped out from a potential stand point and we needed to reset that."

The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to pull off arguably the biggest trade of the offseason by landing three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz, according to reports.

Mitchell, 25, was one of the most desirable stars on the market after it became clear the Jazz were entering a rebuild following their trade of three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

In return, the Jazz will receive three unprotected first-round picks. They include two future first-round pick swaps in guard Collin Sexton and stretch forward Lauri Markkanen, as well as Ochai Agbaji, who was the 14th selection from this year's NBA Draft.

It is a sizeable haul for the Jazz, who also received four future first-round picks, plus three rotation-level players from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Gobert, putting them in one of the most favourable rebuilding situations in the NBA.

For the Cavaliers, the move affirms their position as a true contender in the Eastern Conference for years to come, after emerging from this past season with a long-term core of Darius Garland, Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley and All-Star centre Jarrett Allen.

Cleveland will have one of the league's strongest six-man rotations when factoring in fifth pick from the 2020 draft Isaac Okoro – who will likely start at small forward – and potential Sixth Man of the Year Caris Levert.

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired veteran guard Patrick Beverley in a trade that sees guard Talen Horton-Tucker and journeyman forward Stanley Johnson head to the Utah Jazz.

The move, confirmed by the teams on Thursday, gives the Lakers an experienced ballhandler and defensive pest as they try to bounce back from a dire 33-49 season.

Beverley played a key role last season with the emerging Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists as the franchise made just its second postseason appearance since 2004.

Beverley, 34, is on the move for the second time this offseason after being part of the blockbuster trade that sent Rudy Gobert from Utah to Minnesota in July.

The rebuilding Jazz, on the other hand, acquire a promising young guard in Horton-Tucker, who better fits their timeline.

A second-round pick in 2019, the 21-year-old has seen a steadily increasing dose of minutes over his three NBA seasons, averaging 9.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

With Utah trading away another veteran player, the organisation's sights seem decidedly set on the future.

Trade speculation is likely to continue to swirl around three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, as well as other experienced players like Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic.

The Los Angeles Lakers are finalising a trade to acquire Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz, according to reports.

Beverley previously spent four years in Los Angeles when representing the Clippers between 2017 and 2021, before impressing with the Minnesota Timberwolves last campaign.

The 34-year-old was influential in the Timberwolves' run to the Western Conference playoffs, where they were beaten by the Memphis Grizzlies, before heading to Utah as part of their trade for three-time all-star Rudy Gobert in July.

However, according to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Beverley is on the move again as the Lakers look to improve a team whose defence ranked 21st in the NBA last season.

Beverley, who was a second-round pick for the Lakers in the 2009 draft before being traded, averaged 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists throughout the 2021-22 campaign.

Guard Talen Horton-Tucker and forward Stanley Johnson are reportedly set to head to Utah as part of the deal, with the Lakers attempting to bounce back after missing out on the playoffs last term.

The Lakers also agreed a two-year contract extension worth $97.1million with LeBron James last week, ending speculation over the 37-year-old's future.

Karl-Anthony Towns believes it is "championship or bust" for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Rudy Gobert will be a huge part of the team achieving their goals.

The Timberwolves acquired center Gobert from the Utah Jazz in a blockbuster trade after falling to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs this year.

It was only the second time Minnesota had made the postseason since drafting Towns first overall in 2015.

The arrival of three-time Defensive Player of the Year Gobert will see Towns spent a lot more time at the power forward position, but he feels the pair will complement each other well and hopes it can push the team into championship contention.

"I expect a lot of winning for sure. I wanna win. I'm not up here blowing smoke, I really wanna try to bring a championship run to Minnesota and Rudy adds a huge component to that," said Towns, who recently signed a four-year, $224million super max contract extension.

"He's gonna be a massive part of us being a championship team and my job is to help him as much as he's gonna help me.

"His strengths are my weaknesses and his weaknesses are my strengths, so we'll be able to play off of each other.

"It's go time. There's no more excuses. We've gotta get it done now. It's championship now or bust."

Last season saw the Timberwolves end a run of three straight years with a losing record, and it was the momentum Towns felt that had been built that convinced him to extend his deal in Minnesota.

"I wanted to keep this going. Last year, after me talking to a bunch of NBA players and front office people and us, the NBA is aware of who we are now," said Towns.

"We set out to go out there and make noise and show everyone this isn't the Timberwolves they're used to, and we've done that. Why not keep that momentum going and bring back a championship or that basketball that the fans and everyone here has been yearning for so much?

"Let's bring it back, and not for just one year. Let's do it for consecutive years and make a run."

The New York Knicks have reportedly put together a strong trade offer for Donovan Mitchell as the Utah Jazz appear to be going all-in on a rebuild.

Sirens were sounding in Utah about a potential change of direction for the franchise when they opted to trade three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a bevy of future draft picks, while also picking up a first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets for starting wing Royce O'Neale.

The Jazz had been publicly claiming the Gobert move was on its own merits and in no way signified that Mitchell would also be on his way out, although it appears the 25-year-old three-time All-Star has now played his last game for the team.

According to Shams Charania from The Athletic, the Knicks have become the most likely destination for a potential Mitchell trade.

Judging by the return from Gobert, it can be expected that any trade for Mitchell would require at least four first-round draft picks plus at least one promising young player.

The Athletic's report says the Jazz had been gauging interest from a number of teams, but "the Knicks have emerged as the focused destination over the past several days".

Charania added that "both sides have discussed a deal framework in the past 24 hours."

The Knicks will undoubtedly be trying to figure out a way to get a deal done without including key building block R.J. Barrett, with the Jazz reportedly valuing second-year guard Quentin Grimes.

Rudy Gobert insists the Minnesota Timberwolves will not be happy "just to be a good team", having left the Utah Jazz in pursuit of an NBA title.

The Timberwolves gave up a huge haul – including three unprotected future first-round draft picks – to take Gobert from the Jazz.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year now joins two former first overall selections in Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.

Gobert "fits perfectly" in the Minnesota lineup, coach Chris Finch says, and the incoming center has lofty aspirations.

Although the Timberwolves have not won a playoff series since 2004, making the postseason only twice in that time, Gobert is looking to take his new team all the way.

"The goal is to win a championship," Gobert said. "I came here for that.

"I didn't come here just to be a good team; I came here to try to take this team to the Finals and accomplish that."

The Frenchman suggested such aims were no longer realistic with the Jazz, where he spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career.

Utah were a far more regular playoff outfit, reaching the postseason in six straight years, but they never got beyond the second round and were facing an offseason of change even before Gobert's departure, with coach Quinn Snyder quitting.

"The window for winning is not always big," Gobert explained. "For us in Utah, that's kind of what happened.

"I think the organisation felt like that. We had maybe passed that window that we had over the last few years.

"I think it's still going to be a very competitive team. It just felt like with all the assets that they could get for me, it was better for them to go that way."

Oklahoma City Thunder second-year standout Josh Giddey posted a triple-double in his side's 87-71 win against the Memphis Grizzlies in Wednesday's Summer League action.

Giddey, who at 19 years old is still younger than team-mate and newly acquired second overall pick Chet Holmgren, was in total control against a Grizzlies team consisting of players battling for the last few roster spots.

He finished with 14 points on seven-of-15 shooting, with 10 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

Holmgren could not match his incredible debut where he set the Summer League record with six blocks, but he still found a way to contribute despite shooting three-of-11 from the field. He scored 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished three assists and blocked two shots.

The seven-foot-one, 195-pound rookie was locked in a tantalising matchup against the Grizzlies' Kenny Lofton Jr, who measures in at six-foot-six and 290 pounds. Lofton's massive weight advantage provided a glimpse into the potential struggles Holmgren will face early in his career as he was physically pushed around at times on Lofton's way to 19 points on eight-of-17 shooting.

The Thunder's other two lottery picks were also serviceable, with Jalen Williams hitting all three of his three-point attempts on his way to 16 points, two assists and two steals, while the six-foot-11 Ousmane Dieng hit two-of-five from long range and collected a couple of assists.

Later in the day, the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Utah Jazz 86-82 in a game where Charles Bassey made his case as the back-up center behind Joel Embiid.

Bassey, the 76ers' second-round pick from the 2021 NBA Draft, scored 17 points (seven-of-12 shooting), grabbed nine rebounds and snatched four steals as he made the most of his seven-foot-three wingspan.

For the Jazz, there were signs of life from Bruno Caboclo – the man who became famous for being called "two years away from being two years away" by ESPN's Fran Fraschilla when he was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Caboclo was out of the league this past season, but at six-foot-nine with a ridiculous seven-foot-seven wingspan, and an improved three-point stroke, the 26-year-old has a chance to make another run at sticking in the NBA after stuffing the stat sheet.

He scored 16 points with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks – although he did commit five turnovers and seven personal fouls.

The Utah Jazz are trading center and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday.  

Utah will receive multiple first-round picks in return for the three-time All-Star, along with Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt and Leandro Bolmaro.  

ESPN reported that the Timberwolves are sending its 2023, 2025 and 2027 picks unprotected and a top-five protected 2029 pick to Utah.  

The news comes a day after the Timberwolves and star Karl-Anthony Towns agreed to a four-year, $224million contract extension, giving Minnesota one of the most decorated frontcourts in the NBA.  

A busy offseason continues for Timberwolves president Tim Connelly, who took over basketball operations this offseason after building the Denver Nuggets into a contender.  

Gobert led the league last season by grabbing 14.7 rebounds per game. Fellow All-Star Towns ranked 14th at 9.8 rebounds per game.  

Gobert's departure marks the end of an era for Utah, which peaked in 2020-21 when they secured the West's No. 1 seed but were ousted by the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the playoffs.  

The Jazz went 49-33 last season, losing in the first round to the Dallas Mavericks. The team will now look to rebuild around three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell.  

Gobert has spent all nine of his NBA seasons in Utah, who drafted him 27th overall in 2013. He has averaged 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 611 career games.  

Minnesota, who ranked 24th in the league last season by allowing 113.3 points per game, immediately projects to be stingier with Gobert, who was named the NBA's top defender three times in four seasons from 2017-2021.  

Last season, the Timberwolves secured the No. 7 seed in the play-in tournament but fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round in six games.  

Will Hardy has agreed in principle to join the Utah Jazz as their new head coach, according to reports.

Hardy was assistant to Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka during the team's run to the NBA Finals in the 2021-22 season .

But he has pursued a first head coaching role, interviewing for a role with the Jazz, whose recruitment process was overseen by CEO and former Celtics player and president Danny Ainge.

Hardy was one of four finalists to replace Quinn Snyder, ESPN said, and beat off competition from fellow Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin and Jazz assistant Alex Jensen.

At 34, Hardy – who previously served as assistant to Gregg Popovich on the San Antonio Spurs – is set to become the NBA's youngest active head coach, having agreed to a five-year contract.

This is shaping up to be an offseason of change for the Jazz, with the potential for Snyder's departure to be followed by that of at least one star player.

Having made the playoffs in six straight seasons but failed to get past the second round, Utah have been the subject of plenty of trade speculation.

Center Rudy Gobert is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, while guard Donovan Mitchell would have no shortage of suitors if there was a deal able to entice the Jazz.

Quin Snyder’s decision on Sunday to abruptly step down as coach of the Utah Jazz took much of the NBA world by surprise.

Especially the franchise's star player.

Donovan Mitchell was reportedly "surprised and disappointed" by Snyder's decision to step away after eight seasons in Utah, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, and has been left "unsettled, unnerved and wondering what it means for the franchise’s future."

The 55-year-old Snyder had led the Jazz to six straight playoff berths, three Northwest Division crowns and the NBA's best record in the 2020-21 season, but the team had not been able to advance past the Western Conference semi-finals.

''Love Quin. I love Quin. Love Quin,'' Mitchell said after the Jazz were ousted in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks in April. ''He's a guy that gave me an opportunity when I first got here and trusted in me, believed in me. He's a guy that I think has had so much talked about and he's been headstrong, he's been steady with it throughout the year.''

Mitchell has been the face of the franchise since his 2017-18 rookie season, earning a third-straight All-Star Game appearance this past season while finishing ninth in the league in scoring at 25.9 points per game.

The 25-year-old signed a five-year maximum contract extension with the Jazz in 2020, and considered his positive relationship with Snyder a significant reason he opted to stay in Salt Lake City.

Mitchell, who is owed $67.5million for the next two seasons, followed by a $37m player option, reportedly respects Snyder's decision for stepping down but is left wondering how the franchise will respond to such a sudden and significant change in leadership.

Snyder is the second-winningest coach in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan, and since he took over in Utah in 2014-15, only Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers, Mike Budenholzer and Gregg Popovich compiled more wins than Snyder's 372.

Quin Snyder has resigned as coach of the Utah Jazz after eight seasons in charge.

Snyder was appointed as head coach of Utah in 2014, signing a three-year contract before extending his deal twice to prolong his stay in Salt Lake City.

The 55-year-old transformed the Jazz into a competitive playoff force, reaching the postseason for the last six straight seasons, although they have not progressed past the conference semi-finals in that run.

Snyder was the joint-third longest-serving coach in NBA, alongside Golden State Warriors' Steve Kerr, who trails Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra and San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich.

Having overseen a period of change in Utah, Snyder departs with the second-best winning record of any Jazz coach after boasting a 372-264 regular-season record.

"Quin Snyder has embodied what Jazz basketball is for the last eight years," said Jazz owner Ryan Smith.

"The tireless work ethic and attention to detail Quin displayed each day is a testament to the professional he is. I have nothing but admiration for Quin and respect his decision.

"We thank Quin and Amy from the bottom of our hearts for all of their contributions to the state of Utah and the Jazz and wish them nothing but the best."

 

Reports suggested Utah were intent on agreeing a new contract with Snyder, who is said to want to take a season's break to recuperate before he considers a new coaching role.

"At the core, and what drives me every day is our players and their passion for the game, their desire to constantly work to improve and their dedication to the team and the Jazz," Snyder said.

"I strongly feel they need a new voice to continue to evolve. That's it. No philosophical differences, no other reason. After eight years, I just feel it is time to move onward.

"I needed to take time to detach after the season and make sure this was the right decision. I greatly respect and appreciate Ryan, Danny [Ainge] and Justin's [Zanik] discussions regarding moving forward together, I just know it is time.

"I am forever appreciative of all the players, coaches, partners, and people I have worked with at the Jazz. Your sacrifice, your kinship have made this an incredible and special experience.

"Amy and I are so grateful for our time here as it has been just a tremendous place to raise our family. Thank you to our always supportive and passionate fans. We only want the best for you and to see you raise a championship banner."

Page 1 of 17
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.