"League Insiders" Are Now Trying To Publicly Pressure Danny Ainge To Drop His Asking Price On Donovan Mitchell
Live look at "league insiders":
This time of year, whenever we get an "anonymous" source or a "league insider" giving news, you have to ask yourself first and foremost who the news benefits most. Front offices negotiate in the media and via social media all the time. This is especially true when Trader Danny is involved. Everyone knows he's a real stickler when it comes to trade package returns. He's stubborn, he wants to take you for everything you have and refuses to pull the trigger on a deal that he isn't the overwhelming winner. It can be both fun and extremely terrifying as a fan.
So when it comes to Donovan Mitchell, why should we expect anything less? We know he's asking for no fewer than a billion picks in a return for a 25 year old All Star who currently at the start of this bad boy
We also know both the Knicks and Heat are very interested in bringing Mitchell in. The issue there is Ainge hates Pat Riley like poison, and he's asking for Leon Rose's first born child in a potential return for his franchise player. It wasn't exactly a secret what the Jazz were asking the Knicks for, and that wasn't an accident. It helps put public pressure on the Knicks to pull the trigger.
So how do these "league insiders" respond? They leak out that Mitchell is going to leave the Jazz the first second he can.
Uhhhhhhhh ya think?
Is that news to anybody? Did a single person see that tweet above and think "Holy shit! This is huge news!"
I don't think so.
But here's why stuff like this comes out in my opinion. All of these negotiations come down to leverage. Ainge feels like he has all the leverage, and thus the asking price is high. This is similar to what we're seeing with BKN/KD. Well, one way to cut into that leverage is to make it seem like Mitchell is leaving at the end of his deal so you better trade him now when his value is at its "highest". That means if Ainge doesn't move him in the next 3 years, Mitchell is leaving for nothing, which would be pretty brutal in terms of roster construction.
Here's where I don't think this plan really works. Let's say this is true and that Mitchell is out in 2025. His value doesn't decrease from now to let's say…this year's trade deadline. Shit, even next summer. If he's going to be traded to somewhere like MIA/NYK, I'm pretty sure he's going to sign an extension in both of those places. It's also so far in the future who the fuck knows what happens. Things change in an instant in the NBA. I don't think it's crazy to think the Jazz in 2025 might look a little different than in 2022. Most signs point to they'll be terrible and in the early stages of a complete rebuild, but you never know. I can't imagine Trader Danny is starting to panic over "league insiders" saying Mitchell is going to leave in 2025. Don't you think he knows that? That doesn't mean he has to lower his demand at this point in 2022.
Remember, as of the writing of this blog Donovan Mitchell hasn't even demanded a trade yet. This is all just speculation as to what we think the Jazz will do now that they traded Gobert. They've basically done this to themselves which is actually kind of funny
To me, this mostly screams a public leak to try and chop down the Jazz's leverage into a trade package that a potential suitor is more comfortable with. The classic "why should I pay you all this when I could just sign him in free agency in 3 years?" tactic. It's not a bad idea. Sometimes it works, but we'll see if that's the case with a player with multiple years left on his deal. If you look over to what's going on in BKN, they aren't exactly close on a KD deal either, which just goes to show how reluctant teams are to paying these high prices (unless you're the Wolves). You know this won't be the last time we hear from "anonymous sources" until Mitchell is eventually traded because why the hell would the Jazz be trying to win games right now, but they're going to have to give us something a little jucier than Mitchell is going to leave in 2025.
That's basically been the understanding since the second he initially signed his rookie extension.