The Utah Jazz went from not strongly valuing RJ Barrett in a potential Donovan Mitchell trade with the New York Knicks to considering him an essential piece.
“On Barrett, something changed between July 10th and September whenever the trade happened,” said Zach Lowe. “Mid-July, RJ Barrett was not a lynchpin of this trade for either side. And clearly for New York he was never a lynchpin because he was in the offer all the way through basically. Including when he was poison pilled.
“Utah, something internal discussions happened and in those internal discussions over six or seven weeks, they decided actually RJ Barrett matters to us. He’s not a deal breaker, but we want him. And if we don’t get him, it complicates things to the degree that we’re going to need so much draft equity it might just shut the Knicks out.
“I think that’s interesting and I kind of want to dig in more into that as the weeks go in this summer and fall. There was some internal conversation that led them to say ‘Actually this guy is a little better than we thought.'”