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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / July 18.
  • Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell Misses NBA Media Day for Knicks’ Workout

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    Former Louisville shooting guard Donovan Mitchell missed NBA Media Day on Wednesday  to work out for the Knicks, a source told ZAGSBLOG.

    Mitchell has worked out for Sacramento, which owns the No. 5 and 10 picks, and for Dallas, which picks at No. 9.

    The 6-foot-3 Mitchell, a native of Elmsford, N.Y., averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists last season at Louisville. He’s currently projected as the No. 12 pick to the Detroit Pistons via Draft Express. The site currently has the Knicks taking French point guard Frank Ntilikina at No. 8. Ntilikina met Wednesday with Knicks executives, including Phil Jackson.

    The Knicks, meantime, are considering trading Kristaps Porzingis, and have reached out to numerous teams above them in the lottery, seeking a combination of a draft pick and established players. As first reported by ZAGSBLOG, the Knicks talked to Philadelphia (No. 3) pick and Phoenix (No. 4), among others. ESPN later reported that the Knicks had talked to teams 1-5 in the lottery, which includes Boston (No. 1), the Lakers (No. 2) and Sacramento (No. 5).

    “We’re getting calls. As much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club,” Jackson said in an interview on MSG Network. “So we’ve been getting calls and we’re listening, but we’re not intrigued yet at this level. But as much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s good for our club.”

    Asked what the Knicks would want in return, Jackson said: “The future, you know, what it brings. Does it bring us two starters and a draft pick or something that’s even beyond that? [That’s] something we have to look at as far as going down the road. We know what he is. He’s a unicorn, and he’s special.”

    Meantime, Mitchell will be in the Green Room Thursday.

    “I know the [Pistons] organization is great,” he said last month the NBA Draft Combine, where he met with a number of teams but not the Knicks. “I know the season before this they made the playoffs. I knew Stanley Johnson in high school, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, I know Andre Drummond, all those guys. They’re a great organization with great guys. I feel like they’re relatively young but not too young and I would be able to add that defensive piece and also knock down open shots when necessary.”

    He also said he’ll be a two-way player in the NBA.

    “I’m able to defend,” he said. “A lot of guys don’t have that willingness but as a guard who’s under-sized I’m able to defend and I’m willing to defend.

    “And my jump shot as well, I’m able to consistently hit shots and consistency is one thing I’ve been working on this season and this offseason.”

    Mitchell said he can also play the point.

    “A lot of people say I’m going to play the point,” he said. “I just want to go out there and provide combo guard needs. I’ll be able to hit shots, penetrate, find the open guy but also come off ball screens as a coach on the floor as the point guard.”

    Mitchell also said he’d be willing to spend some time in the NBA D-League.

    “I’ll definitely be willing to go to the D-League and work on my game if I have to,” he said.


    Photo: Nick Coffey

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.