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Brian Windhorst Cites Some "3rd Grade Level Stuff" That Happened Between The Knicks And Jazz In Trade Talks

What's going on in Utah? Two months later, Windy couldn't have been more right. Throughout a summer of trade negotiations with the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz there appeared to be some shots taken by both sides.

"Donovan Mitchell was almost a Knick on Sunday and Monday. It almost happened. And I think that even as of yesterday [Thursday] morning I think that I could've still seen it come together. There was emotions on both sides here that I think ended up playing in here and sent Donovan to the Cavs." - Brian Windhorst on Bart & Hahn

Knicks President Leon Rose set a deadline of Monday night to get a deal done. They signed RJ Barrett to an extension just after that deadline passed seemingly nuking talks with the Jazz. But what exactly happened?

"There is a lot of different situations and twists and turns here. It was a very intense negotiation between the Jazz and the Knicks. There was a lot of skin in the game, a lot of people involved, and from what I can tell, as it was unfolding, there was pretty high level stuff going on and even some 3rd grade level stuff going on behind the scenes." - Windy on Bart & Hahn

This isn't crazy surprising. Danny Ainge has always been a stiff negotiator and reports were coming out he wanted most of the Knicks best assets including RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickly, Obi Toppin, and at least three unprotected 1st round picks. But what childish antics were at play?

"There were people on both sides that, there was some mud flung at each other and some sensitivities and some past history that was involved. And this was such an important deal for the Jazz and such a potentially important deal for the Knicks that this negotiation was just very delicate. And there were so many different people involved in this. I wish I could just say more, but there were some times over the last couple of weeks where I kind of just rolled my eyes at stuff that I heard that was going on and said, "ok that's how it's gonna be." - Windy on Bart & Hahn

Mitchell is from the Elmsford, NY and his dad is actually Director of Player Relations with the Mets and by all account genuinely wanted to play for his hometown team. But one nugget that stood out to me a few months ago could be a potential reason.

For Game 1 this past post-season between the Mavericks and Jazz, Knicks exec William "World Wide" Wesley was sitting courtside for the game with Dallas-native Julius Randle. Word on the street was that World Wide Wes had been pushing for the Knicks to acquire Mitchell and his attendance in such a visible spot rattled some "prominent" members of the Jazz Front Office with SNY's Ian Begley stating that they were "surprised and upset". Those are emotions, like Windy referred to. Not a super cool move by the Knicks, especially as the Jazz geared up for what they hoped would be a deep playoff run.

As far as people, I suspect the main "prominent" member of the Jazz Front Office is GM Justin Zanik. He has remained in his role even after Danny Ainge took over so that would make sense timeline wise. Did that leave him with a bad enough taste in his mouth that he upped the price on the Knicks to which they felt the tax was just too high? Tough to say, but hopefully we get more nuggets on this deal as time goes on as I always find the player empowerment stuff and the Front Office side of that fascinating.