It was widely reported in the media that Donovan Mitchell was the primary target of the Knicks. However, it was the Cavaliers that acquired the 26-year-old shooting guard.
Some viewed it as a disappointment that New York was unable to get the young star even though there was mutual interest between the player and the team. Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith was especially critical.
Knicks President Leon Rose was asked about the trade during a recent interview. While not opening about the details of the trade talks, he claimed that his team made a decision to go forward with the players that they have and was happy with the draft picks at their disposal that could be used in future trades.
“Well, I’m not allowed to speak with regard to players that are under contract with other teams,” Rose said on MSG Networks. “However, as you know, it is my job to evaluate and look at trades and things of that nature in order to improve the team. Like I said when I came in, we’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to be opportunistic.
“Our plan was to work with what we have through player development, look at what’s out there and just a group try to get better everyday. And that’s what we try to do. That process, we went through that process there and ultimately, at the end of the day we made a decision to stay put and we’re thrilled with where we are.”