Donovan Mitchell trade: Cavaliers acquire All-Star for Collin Sexton, three unprotected picks, per report


The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The three-time All-Star guard goes to Cleveland in exchange for a package that focuses on draft picks and young players.

The Jazz have acquired Cleveland’s unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029, plus pick swaps in 2026 and 2028, per ESPN. Also to Utah, as first reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports: Ochai Agbaji, the No. 14 pick in the 2022 design; Collin Sexton, who will arrive via sign-and-trade; and Lauri Markkanen.

Sexton’s new contract is for four years and $72 million, according to Shams Charania.

Mitchell, who turns 26 next week, joins a Cavs roster that also includes 22-year-old Darius Garland, 24-year-old Jarrett Allen and 21-year-old Evan Mobley. Garland and Allen were both part of the All-Star team last season and Mobley finished second in the Rookie of the Year award.

The Jazz, meanwhile, are undergoing a full remodel, having already traded Mitchell’s former co-star, Rudy Gobert, for a similar package in a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves this offseason.

The Cavs are getting big and small at the same time

Cleveland didn’t have to do anything big this summer. Despite a long list of injuries last season, it won 44 games, good enough to qualify for the play-in tournament. Mobley was an All-Defense nominee as a rookie and has a franchise player on his head. Garland takes off and is just as dangerous with and without the ball. Allen is a top-of-the-line rim protector and it develops on the attack just as the Cavs had hoped. Had they just added Agbaji to the mix, reunited with Ricky Rubio and called it an offseason, they would have been on an upward trajectory next summer, with cap space ahead. Agbaji, a 3-and-D wing, is just the type of player they didn’t have. Maybe they could have brought Sexton back too.

Instead, with an elite playmaker on the market, Cleveland decided to go for it. The rationale here is simple: Despite all the good vibes surrounding the Cavs last season, they finished with the 20th best offense in the NBA (111 points per 100 possessions) and were absolutely terrible (103 per 100) when Garland was off the field. Garland’s ability to shoot on the go makes him a good match with Mitchell on offense, and Cleveland can always keep one on the ground. Perhaps this means that Caris LeVert, acquired in a mid-season with the Indiana Pacers, will be the Cavs’ sixth long-term man; maybe it means he will be moved before this year’s deadline.

Pairing Mobley with Allen — and starting the 6-foot-11 Markkanen next to them — was an interesting experiment in an era when bigs are routinely played from the floor in the playoffs. After a successful bet on their mobility and talent, Cleveland has doubled down, effectively announcing that it believes his exceptionally large frontcourt can mask the weaknesses of his exceptionally small backcourt. In theory, if Garland and Mitchell, both six foot tall and neither versatile defender, can survive anywhere defensively, that would be on a team that has Mobley and Allen behind them.

It’s reasonable to be skeptical about that. While most of the NBA is trying to get as many big, strong, interchangeable wings as possible, the Cavs have put together a (rarely talented) core with one or zero depending on whether you think Isaac Okoro can still be. considered part of the core. However, as Daryl Morey likes to say, you can’t just go to the superstar store and pick the one you want. If the Cavs had waited, perhaps they could have gotten another player of Mitchell’s caliber, without the obvious fitness issue. But that perfect trading opportunity may never have presented itself.

What’s next for Utah?

The Jazz felt they had reached their peak with Gobert and Mitchell, so CEO Danny Ainge charted a new course. They were given four first-round picks for Gobert, only one of which was (slightly) protected, plus a pick substitution. The Cavaliers sent them three more unprotected scoops, plus two swaps. Between Agbaji and the big man Walker Kessler, who had been picked 24 by Minnesota in this year’s draft and then entered the Gobert trade, they essentially got two more first-rounders. Utah took another scoop in the deal that sent Royce O’Neale to the Brooklyn Nets. And in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, veteran Patrick Beverley, acquired from the Timberwolves, turned into 21-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker.

And Ainge isn’t done yet.

Mike Conley, who turns 35 next month, is not part of the Jazz’s long-term plans. Neither does Bojan Bogdanovic, who will turn 34 next season during the play-offs. Jordan Clarkson, 30, figures are also available, and the same is likely to be true for Malik Beasley, who turns 26 in November. ESPN reported: that Utah considers Sexton, 23, and Markkanen, 25, to be guardians, but there is no guarantee that they will complete their respective contracts in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz now have a large collection of future picks, and they will have more by the deadline, if not by the start of training camp. They’ve put themselves on the line to lose a ton of games next season, and if the lottery breaks well, they might be able to draft their next franchise player. The losses will be painful, but they will come with a side of hope. The same can’t be said of banging your head against the same wall year after year.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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