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

The Cleveland Cavaliers have exchanged for Utah Jazz guardian Donovan Mitchell, by Adrian Wojnarowski. The three-time All-Star guard goes to Cleveland in exchange for a package focused on draft picks and young players.

The Jazz acquired Cleveland’s unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029, as well as pick trades in 2026 and 2028, by ESPN. I’m also going to Utah, as first reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports: Off Blackthe No. 14 pick in the 2022 draft; Collin Sexton, which 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 core Cavs that also includes the 22-year-old Darius Garlandthe 24 year old Jarrett Allen and the 21 year old Evan Mobley. Both Garland and Allen made the All-Star team last season, and Mobley finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.

The Jazz, meanwhile, are looking to a full rebuild, having already traded Mitchell’s former co-star, Rudy Gobertfor a similar package under an agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves this offseason.

The Cavs get 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, he won 44 games which was enough to qualify for the qualifying tournament. Mobley was an All-Defense candidate as a rookie and has an upside franchise player. Garland is ascendant, and is equally dangerous with and without the ball. Allen is a top-notch rim protector, and he’s developing on offense just as the Cavs hoped. Did they just add Agbaji to the mix, put together with Ricky Rubio and called it an offseason, they would have been on an upward trajectory, with cap space ahead of them next summer. Agbaji, a 3&D winger, is exactly the type of player they didn’t have. Maybe they could have brought Sexton back too.

Instead, with an elite point guard in the market, Cleveland decided to jump in. The reason here is simple: for all the good vibes surrounding the Cavs last season, they finished with the 20th best offense in the league. NBA (111 points per 100 possessions) and were absolutely awful (103 per 100) when Garland was off the field. Garland’s ability to shoot on the move makes him a perfect match with Mitchell on offense, and Cleveland can keep either of them on the floor at all times. Maybe that means Caris The Greenacquired during a mid-season exchange with the Indiana Pacers, will be the Cavs’ long-term sixth man; maybe that means it will be moved before this year’s deadline.

Pairing Mobley with Allen — and starting the 6-foot-11 Markkanen alongside them — was an interesting experience in a time when big players are routinely played on the floor in the playoffs. After a successful bet on their mobility and talent, Cleveland doubled down, effectively announcing that they believe their exceptionally large frontcourt can mask the weaknesses of their exceptionally small backcourt. In theory, if Garland and Mitchell, both 6-foot-1, neither of them an all-around defender, can survive anywhere defensively, then it would be on a team that has Mobley and Allen behind them.

It is reasonable to be skeptical about this. While most of the NBA tries to acquire as many big, strong, switchable wings as possible, the Cavs have assembled a core (extremely talented) with one or zero of them, depending on whether you think isaac okoro can still be considered part of the core. As Daryl Morey love at say, however, you can’t just walk into the superstar store and choose the one you want. Had the Cavs waited, they might have been able to acquire another player of Mitchell’s caliber, had it not been for the obvious fit issue. But that perfect business opportunity may never have presented itself.

What’s next for Utah?

The Jazz felt they had reached their ceiling with Gobert and Mitchell, so general manager Danny Ainge charted a new course. They got four first-round picks for Gobert, including only one (slightly) protected, plus a pick trade. The Cavaliers sent them three more unprotected firsts, plus two trades. Between Agbaji and a great man Walker Kesler, picked No. 24 by Minnesota in this year’s draft, then included in Gobert’s trade, they essentially got two more first rounds. Utah won another first in the deal that sent Royce O’Neale to brooklyn nets. And in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakershe became a veteran Patrick Beverlyacquired from the Timberwolves, in 21 years Talen Horton Tucker.

And Ainge has not finished.

Mike Conley, who turns 35 next month, is not part of the Jazz’s long-term plans. Neither Bojan Bogdanovicwho will turn 34 in next season’s playoffs. Jordan Clarkson30, the numbers will also be available, and the same is likely for Malik Beasleywho turns 26 in November. ESPN reported Utah considers Sexton, 23, and Markkanen, 25, as guards, but there’s no guarantee they’ll complete their respective contracts in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz now have a large collection of future picks, and they’ll have even more by the deadline, if not by the start of training camp. They prepared to lose a ton of games next season and, if the lottery goes well, they could sign their next franchise player. The losses will be painful, but they will come with a side of hope. The same can’t be said for banging your head against the same wall year after year.

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