Donovan Mitchell was acquired by the Cleveland Cavaliers after they previously stepped out of conversations
The Cleveland Cavaliers were in, then they were out, then they swooped in at the last second and got their guy. No one saw the Cavs as anything but a side character in the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes, but on Thursday afternoon a Woj bomb dropped and we found out Mitchell was going to Cleveland.
Donovan Mitchell traded to Cavs: Full trade details
Details are still roaring in, but here’s the inital package as reported by Shams Charania:
- Collin Sexton (sign-and-trade)
- Lauri Markkanen
- Ochai Agbaji
- 3 first-round picks
- 2 pick swaps
Grading Donovan Mitchell trade for Utah Jazz
The deal is not super flashy for the Jazz. They give up a long-term star that they drafted, but officially move wholeheartedly into their rebuild, with 3 new first-round picks to help them do it to add to their stockpile.
Picks are everything for rebuilding teams, especially those in smaller markets. Getting three firsts in this deal is great.
The Jazz turned down Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, and picks from the Knicks. Instead they got two former All-Rookies who haven’t quite hit expectations in Markkaneen and Sexton. Both have shown great scoring ability and will benefit from the low-pressure environment where Utah can focus on their development. Utah could potentially flip them for more picks.
Utah wanted picks, they got them. They should have squeezed for more in terms of talent. They likely could have gotten at least one of Garland, Mobley, or Allen in the process. For that reason, they don’t get an A.
Grading Donovan Mitchell trade for Cavaliers
The Cavs were patient, never really showing their hand. Other teams, like the Knicks, seemed to telegraph their interest and it may have really hurt them at the negotiation table. The Cavs, now, liquidated some of their seemingly endless youth, draft picks, and got a star to pair with Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, Evan Mobley, and Isaac Okoro.
They may not be the No. 1 favorite in the Eastern Conference to reach the Finals, but they are a sure-thing as a competitor now, and they can continue to make moves should they wish to continue to do so.
Keep in mind, Kevin Love could finally be traded this year.
The Cavs making a move without having to get rid of either of Garland, Mobley, or Allen is huge, especially considering the fact that it sounded like the Jazz were ready to move into the season with Mitchell on account of a very high expectation for return.
The Cavs lose some flexibility moving forward, but as a small-market team it was something that they had to do if they wanted to open a window to seriously compete.
As far as fit, ball handling duties are the first question Cavs fans should have, but Garland, Mitchell, and LeVert are all capable in the backcourt. Immediately, it feels like Garland will work best at the point with Mitchell starting as a SG.
An underrated aspect of the trade is that the Cavs had yet to agree to a deal with Sexton, who was a restricted free agent. He will sign with the Cavs in a sign-and-trade move. Had the Cavs signed him before today, he wouldn’t have been eligible to be traded until January.
Overall? Great deal for the Cavs, instantly injecting their roster with what they need to move forward and consolidating youth power for a star that can get them wins right away.