NBA reporters Zach Lowe and Ian Begley are casting doubt on rumors that the Utah Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers to get revenge on Mitchell or the New York Knicks.
At the end of the day, teams find the best deal, not the deal that causes the most chaos, said Begley, who covers the Knicks and Nets for SNY TV, on the latest episode of Lowe’s podcast, “The Lowe Post.”
“I can’t see anyone not doing anything but the best deal for their franchise,” he said.
The rumors Begley and Lowe addressed have been circulating in the week since news broke of the Jazz trade with the Cavaliers.
Mostly notably, Fox Sports reporter Ric Bucher claimed over the weekend that Jazz leaders’ frustration with Mitchell led them to walk away from a potential Knicks trade.
“Some Jazz officials were not happy that Mitchell wanted out and viewed sending him to (Cleveland) — rather than home to NY — as payback,” Bucher tweeted on Sunday.
Others emphasized tension between the Jazz and Knicks, which stemmed, in large part, from a Knicks official’s appearance at a Jazz playoff game against the Dallas Mavericks in April.
“Some prominent members of the Jazz were surprised and upset to see (William) Wesley sitting courtside for the game,” Begley reported at the time.
People have also pointed out that the Jazz might have been annoyed by how long the unsuccessful negotiations with the Knicks dragged on, Lowe said on the podcast.
“There’s been this reporting ... (that) hard feelings must have played into” the trade, he said.
Lowe noted that Jazz leaders have assured them that they’re “mature people” who didn’t focus on past drama when working on the trade. He said they told him they made the best deal possible.
At the end of the day, Begley said, the potential Jazz-Knicks deal likely fell apart for the most obvious reason: the Knicks never made an offer so good that the Jazz couldn’t refuse it.
“The Knicks could have made an offer that forced Utah’s hand. They decided not to do that,” he said.