Donovan Mitchell Has A Bold Cavs-Jazz Trade Take

NBA Analytics Network

One of the biggest trades of the NBA offseason came between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz. To cement themselves as one of the contenders in the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers joined the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes at the 11th hour and secured a blockbuster trade for the three-time All-Star.

The price to buy him was nowhere near as high as reported for other teams, but the Cavaliers relinquished quite a few assets in the deal. Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji, a first round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, were sent to Salt Lake City along with three unprotected first round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029 and pick swaps in 2026 and 2027.

It’s a deal that both teams probably feel they got right. Mitchell is having the best season of his career offensively, playing in the backcourt with Darius Garland. He averages a career-high 29.2 points per game with efficient .506/.431/.891 shoot splits as he knocks on the door of the illustrious 50/40/90 club.

Along with the high scoring average, Mitchell dished out 4.4 assists to go along with 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. With the burden no longer entirely on his shoulders offensively, Mitchell has been able to tap into the defensive potential he showed collegiately in Louisville and get the job done on that front as well.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers & Utah Jazz Updates

The Jazz has cooled down a bit since their hot start, but they are still more competitive than most people thought they would be. They are currently 17-15 heading into their first matchup with Mitchell on Monday night since the off-season trade.

While talking to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune, Mitchell opened up about being traded by the Jazz. He has admitted that he thought he was on his way home to the New York Knicks, but still believes staying in Cleveland has proven to be a win-win for everyone involved.

“I see it as a win-win situation. Everyone is thriving, thriving, happy and sometimes a new beginning is just what you need. That’s for both sides. I don’t know what the atmosphere is like in the locker room there, but when I talked to the guys, it just seemed like a breath of fresh air. Sometimes your time is just up. I just think for me personally, I’ve said this several times, I’m happy in a different way. They seem to be, they play well as a group. I’ve seen a lot of matches. It’s great to see both sides blossom after something that took an entire summer to figure out.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers & Utah Jazz Updates

The Jazz has received an excellent production from Markkanen, who is enjoying his own career season averaging 22.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Sexton has been solid off the bench for most of the season, averaging 14.3 points and 3.0 assists per game, but this is a trade Utah could benefit from for years to come.

The design fee they received was the main attraction of the deal. They have a ton of flexibility for years to come, thanks to the draft picks they obtained from the Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the Rudy Gobert trade.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers & Utah Jazz Updates

Markannen looks like the cornerstone the Chicago Bulls hoped he would be when they selected him 7th overall in 2017, which will make their rebuild that much easier.

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