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Report: Tom Thibodeau Might Prefer Giving Up RJ Barrett Over Quentin Grimes In A Donovan Mitchell Trade

Things have gone cold on the Donovan Mitchell trade front. While the New York Knicks reportedly very much want to acquire the Utah Jazz star, the team has not met Utah’s reported gigantic asking price for the All-Star guard and Empire State native.

One of the big questions has been whether or not former top-3 pick R.J. Barrett will be moved in the deal, because while he might be New York’s top prospect among its collection of young players, the former Duke standout is extension eligible and might be a bit ahead of of Utah’s timeline considering the potential scope of this rebuild.

As such, the player who has most frequently been mentioned as the potential headliner of the deal from New York’s perspective is second-year guard Quentin Grimes, but according to a new report from Marc Berman of the New York Post, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau might have some reservations about moving on from the 2021 first-round pick, who is likewise coveted by the Jazz.

There is belief around the league Thibodeau would prefer to give up Barrett in a deal than shooting guard Quentin Grimes, who is coming off a solid rookie year, and a summer league in which he looked quicker and more sculpted. Grimes is a better defender and 3-point shooter than Barrett.

Ainge is hot to acquire Grimes for his Jazz rebuilding plan. One individual believes Grimes would likely be amenable to joining Utah since a Brunson-Mitchell backcourt would be a roadblock to ever becoming a Knicks starter. Grimes is a Houston native who played part of his college career at Kansas.

Grimes was one of the top performers at Summer League this year after averaging six points in 17.1 minutes per game as a rookie.