In a blockbuster move, three-time NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, in exchange for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markannen, rookie Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first round picks (2025, 2027, 2029), and two pick swaps. Let’s break down both sides of the deal and who won this trade.
This was a great move for Cleveland. They already have two All-Stars on their roster in Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, along with the runner-up Rookie of the Year Evan Mobley. They’ve also got some solid supporting players and veterans, such as Kevin Love, Caris LeVert, Cedi Osman, Ricky Rubio, Dean Wade, Isaac Okoro, and Evan’s younger brother Isaiah Mobley.
By adding another All-Star to the roster, the Cavaliers have almost certainly gone from a play-in team to a playoff team. While it’ll be tough to beat giants in the Eastern Conference like the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland has set themselves up perfectly for the future. Within five years, when their All-Stars are in their prime, the Cavaliers will truly be a championship contender; despite what anyone may say on National TV, the Cavs aren’t a finals contender from this move.
Shoutout to Cleveland’s President of Basketball Operations, Koby Altman, for doing such a good job rebuilding the Cavaliers ever since LeBron James‘ departure. He drafted Garland, Sexton, and Mobley, traded for LeVert and Rubio, maneuvered himself into the James Harden deal to get Allen, and has now traded for Sexton.
Final Grade: A
This is a rare win-win trade. The Jazz now have 13 unprotected first-round picks from other teams through the 2029 NBA Draft, which is a great way to start rebuilding. Utah isn’t a marquee free agent destination, which means that if they want superstars, they either have to trade for them or draft them. After all, that is what they did with Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
Collin Sexton on a four-year, $72 million deal is great value. While the Jazz won’t know for sure what Sexton looks like post injury, a change of scenery will likely do him some good. Plus, in 2021, his last full healthy season, Sexton averaged 24.3 points per game. For the 2022-23 season, Sexton is projected to average 23, 4, and 4 on 48/36/81 shooting splits, which would make him well worth his deal.
Markannen has the potential to become a stud on the Jazz, and Agbaji hasn’t even played in an NBA game yet; this could prove to be a great addition to the Jazz roster, or he could be another draft bust. Either way, a few of the Jazz’s 13 first-round draft picks will turn out to be very solid players, if not All-Stars.
Final Grade: A
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