Well, we finally get another blockbuster trade out of Utah. Everyone thought it would be a deal with the Knicks, Heat, or even Brooklyn.
Instead, it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers who win the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes.
I’m a Cleveland Cavs season ticket holder. Just a few minutes ago, my son texted me with the news. I thought it was a prank.
And then came the bombs…
From what we know already, Utah will send the All-Star combo guard to Cleveland in exchange for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, unprotected-1st rounders in 2025, 2027, and 2029, as well as two pick swaps of first rounders in the future.
Danny Ainge and the Jazz held out for an enormous haul of draft picks and young talent, and they scored big in this deal with Cleveland. Utah has added no less than NINE first round picks in exchange for Rudy Gobert and now Mitchell, who gives the Cavs yet another all-star for their young core.
All of the sudden, Utah has the largest “rebuilding war chest” of draft capital in the entire NBA. All those picks and their own picks! Young players and expiring contracts! Bojan, Mike Conley, Malik Beasley ready for deals as well. One of my first thoughts as an astute fan in Cleveland is that I’m so happy for COLLIN SEXTON. Assuming he makes a full return to health, COLLIN SEXTON – apparently this could be a sign-and-trade deal – could put up all-star caliber numbers in Utah THIS season. Markkanen should also start immediately in Utah, and with the sharpshooting Agbaji, Jazz fans might feel a fast return on this trade.
For Cleveland, adding Donovan Mitchell moves them to the top four in the East. Assuming that this team can gel together well and that Mitchell will assume the role of veteran leader on what is clearly Darius Garland’s team, the Cavs talent ranks them right up there with Milwaukee, Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Miami. Anyone who tells you otherwise has not seen Donovan Mitchell play lately, and they underestimate J.B. Bickerstaff.
It won’t take this Cavs team long to climb the ranks in the East. And this roster – with Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Garland, Mitchell, and Isaac Okoro – has one of the younger “core groups” of talent in the league.
Card investors, I’m never one to run to eBay and start buying stuff after a trade, but I like what this deal does for card values of Collin Sexton, Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley. Truth be told, I’m surfing an eBay search of “2018 Collin Sexton Auto” as I’m typing this one out for you.
The Cavs card values may spike a little right now, but over time this deal helps all of these young stars chase a championship sooner and develop more quickly. Cavs will still need major help on the wing from guys like Lamar Stevens, Cedi Osman, and Okoro, but the offense is downright scary. Rim protection could be the best in the league with Mobley and Allen guarding the paint.
As a Cavs fan and ticket holder, I’m thrilled with Donovan Mitchell and had dreamed of this news happening someday. Cavs GM Koby Altman has been patiently building this young core and gathering assets for a day like this. And, let me be one of the first few in Northeast Ohio to say it, “Donovan Mitchell, WELCOME TO CLEVELAND!”
I’ve got more to say, but the eBay deals are calling. This is a game-changing deal for the League as we begin September, and it’s exciting for both of these franchises moving forward. Nobody will fault the Jazz for accepting this loaded package of picks and young talents. And Nobody should fault Cleveland for telling it’s young all-stars that it’s time to go win the East.