After the Rudy Gobert trade was completed, Donovan Mitchell was due to be next out the door. We only had to wait 2 more months but the deal is done. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Donovan Mitchell is headed to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Full trade: Utah is trading Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland for Lauri Markkanen, Ochair Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 1, 2022
Those that kept up with the Cavaliers will know that Collin Sexton didn’t play due to injury, and that Lauri Markkanen played out-of-position in the starting lineup. The tall ball experiment with Markkanen, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen held promising results and put the Cavs in position to make the next leap. Trading those two pieces for Donovan Mitchell is a massive boost. Mitchell will star in the backcourt along with breakout star Darius Garland, whose skills as a floor general will complement Mitchell nicely. Cleveland also gave 3 unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps in this deal. A young core with Garland, Mitchell, and Mobley should be good enough for those picks not to hurt in the long run.
Sending out Donovan Mitchell officially marks the start of the Utah Jazz rebuild. The Jazz actually generated a solid amount of assets from the sale of Gobert and Mitchell. The two all-stars generated seven unprotected firsts, three pick swaps, and two rookies, Jarred Vanderbilt, Walker Kessler, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Talen Horton Tucker, and Malik Beasley. The Jazz will fade into obscurity for the near future but are in a great place. They won’t be bottom of the barrel with the likes of the Spurs and Rockets, but they’ve had a great eye for talent in past drafts.
Most of the NBA world wanted to see Mitchell traded to the Knicks. The Knicks were long rumored to be the landing spot for Mitchell. The two sides would approach a deal, then stop talking, then pick up again. Both Leon Rose and Danny Ainge we’re intent on “pulling one over” on the other. The Knicks offered some combination of Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, and picks. One can wonder if the Knicks ever got the chance to bid against the Cavs’ winning offer.