If the Knicks could go back to the 2017 NBA Draft and re-pick at No. 8 overall, they'd probably jump on the chance to take Louisville G Donovan Mitchell.
And ex-Knicks vice president Clarence Gaines Jr. admitted that to be the case instead of taking Frank Ntilikina.
Gaines answered a statement from a Knicks fan on Twitter, where he suggested former team president Phil Jackson & Co. should have taken Mitchell. Gaines did more than just agree with the statement...
You're correct - one day I'll speak/write on it. But get over it - treasure what you have & nourish that flower to bloom to its fullest potential. Live in the precious present b/c that's the only reality you can impact. https://t.co/vEd6EpbzCo- Clarence Gaines (@ClarenceGaines2) October 27, 2019
Instead, Mitchell was drafted 13th overall to the Nuggets, but traded to the Jazz. From there, Mitchell quickly became a superstar in what was an outstanding rookie season that made him a top candidate for Rookie of the Year. Ben Simmons, the 76ers phenom, would eventually win the award, but Mitchell has been one of the league's best point guards since entering the league.
Ntilikina, on the other hand, is still a project with the Knicks. He did have his club option picked up for next season, but New York is hoping for much improvement this season as the now 21-year-old has still yet to turn the corner.
Gaines, though, is looking at this move by the Knicks as a big mistake. Of course, hindset is 20/20, but Gaines wants to talk and write about that first-round pick one day.
Still, he isn't knocking Ntilikina. As he wrote, the Knicks must "nourish that flower to bloom to its fullest potential" and that's exactly what the Knicks are trying to do. In the meantime, Mitchell is the star of the Jazz franchise, and will work to his first All-Star appearance this season.