Duke basketball star should not be traded under any circumstance

Duke basketball guard Kyrie Irving and RJ Barrett (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Duke basketball guard Kyrie Irving and RJ Barrett (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

A former Duke basketball star is being surrounded by trade speculation. 

The movie that is the NBA offseason has not come close to hitting its climax but former Duke basketball stars are at the center of its plot.

Drama surrounding Kyrie Irving never stops and Cam Reddish is being dangled as trade bait once again.

However, speculation is now building that RJ Barrett could be at the center piece of a blockbuster that would send Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell to the New York Knicks.

The Jazz appeared to be in rebuild mode after Quin Snyder resigned as the head coach of the franchise in June and the organization then traded role player Royce O’Neal and defensive anchor Rudy Gobert.

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The immediate question came to everyone’s mind; Is Donovan Mitchell next?

And the short answer was no.

Then, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday afternoon that the Jazz are now open to the possibility of trading Mitchell for the right price.

Typically when a star player either hits free agency or is rumored to be traded the Knicks are always a topic of a possible destination that never truly comes to fruition but Donovan Mitchell landing in New York certainly feels possible.

Mitchell was born in Elmsford, New York and is constantly in the New York City area in the offseason as he is a superfan of the New York Mets and his father, Donovan Mitchell Sr., is the director of players relations for the club.

He is already a three-time All-Star and any trade to try and land the 25-year old would take a massive package from another franchise but the Knicks cannot let go of RJ Barrett in a potential deal.

Why New York Knicks cannot trade Duke basketball superstar

RJ Barrett is developing into one of the brightest young stars in the NBA after he faced a great amount of pressure seeing Zion Williamson, his Duke teammate, and Ja Morant have instant success in the league after being selected ahead of him at No. 1 and No. 2 in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The 22-year old is coming off a season in which he averaged 20.0 points per game, a new career best, and has seen continual growth in the league in each of his first three seasons.

New York signed Jalen Brunson to a massive four-year, $104 million contract once free agency opened to be the point guard the franchise has been searching for and the potential of putting Brunson, Mitchell, and Barrett together could catapult the Knicks into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Despite its reliance on veterans, the Knicks also have other young assets to potentially trade away such as Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Deuce McBride, and the former Blue Devil Cam Reddish.

The franchise also has eight tradeable first round picks that it could offer Utah in a deal for Donovan Mitchell as the Jazz received four first round picks, a pick swap in 2026, and the No. 22 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft Walker Kessler in Gobert’s trade, in addition to four other players on the Minnesota roster.

New York could also offer veteran guard Evan Fournier and forward Julius Randle, who appeared disgruntled with the franchise last season after a heroic 2020-21 campaign.

Other teams will certainly be bidding high for Donovan Mitchell but the New York Knicks must do everything possible to try and retain RJ Barrett as he is poised to take the leap to stardom in the NBA.

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