Donovan Mitchell trade: Cavaliers take all-star vs Colin Sexton, three unprotected picks, per report

The Cleveland Cavaliers traded for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The three-time All-Star goalkeeper will head to Cleveland in exchange for a package centered around draft picks and young players.

Jazz took Cleveland’s unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027, and 2029, as well as selection swaps in 2026 and 2028, per ESPN. I’m also going to Utah, As first reported by Chris Hines of Yahoo Sports: Ochai Agbaji, Pick No. 14 in the 2022 Draft; Colin Sexton, who will arrive via signature and trade; and Laurie Markkanen.

Sexton’s new four-year, $72 million contract, According to Shams Al Shaaraniyah.

Mitchell, who turns 26 next week, joins the Caves team that also includes 22-year-old Darius Garland, 24-year-old Garrett Allen and 21-year-old Evan Mobley. Garland and Allen made the All-Star last season, and Mobley finished second in the Rookie of the Year vote.

Meanwhile, the Jazz team is pivoting into a complete rebuild, having already replaced former Mitchell star, Rudy Gobert, with a similar package in a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves this off-season.

Cavs are trending big and small at the same time

Cleveland didn’t have to do anything big this summer. Despite a long injury list last season, he won 44 games, which was good enough to qualify for the tournament. Mobley was an All-Defense nominee as a Rookie and had a higher player privilege. Garland is bullish, and equally dangerous with and without the ball. Allen is an excellent edge guard, and he’s evolving on attack just as the Cavs had hoped. Had they simply added Agbagi to the mix, reunited with Ricky Rubio and called it out of season, they would have been on an upward trajectory, with plenty of room ahead of them next summer. Agbaji, a 3D suite, is exactly the kind of player they didn’t have. Perhaps they could have brought back Sexton, too.

Instead, with an elite playmaker in the market, Cleveland decided to go for it. The rationale here is simple: For all the good vibes that surrounded last season, they finished 20th best attacking in the NBA (111 points per 100 ownership) and were pretty appalling (103 per 100) when Garland was off the field. Garland’s ability to shoot on the go makes him a perfect fit for Mitchell in attack, and the Cleveland can keep one of them on the ground at all times. Perhaps this means that Caris LeVert, acquired in a mid-season deal with the Indiana Pacers, will be the Cavs’ sixth man in the long run; Perhaps 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 an era when play is routinely done on the floor in playoffs. After a successful bet on their mobility and talent, Cleveland doubled down, effectively declaring that they believed their exceptionally large frontal area could conceal weaknesses in their exceptionally small back area. In theory, if Garland and Mitchell, both 6-foot-1, and neither of them a multi-talented defender, were able to stay anywhere defensive, it would be in a team behind Mobley and Allen.

It’s reasonable to be skeptical. While most of the NBA try to get as many big, strong, and convertible wingers as possible, the Cavs have amassed a (very talented) core with either one or zero of them, depending on whether you think Isaac Okoro can still be. It is part of the heart. As Daryl Morey likes to say, though, you can’t just go to a Superstar store and pick out the one you want. If the Cavs had waited, they might have been able to get another Mitchell-caliber player, without the obvious fit issue. But this perfect business opportunity would never have presented itself.

What’s next for Utah?

The Jazz felt they had reached their ceiling with Joubert and Mitchell, so chief executive officer Danny Inge charted a new path. They had four first-round picks for Gobert, only one of them (light) protected, plus a pick exchange. The Cavaliers sent them three unprotected primes, as well as two swaps. Between Agbaji and big man Walker Kessler, who was picked #24 by Minnesota in this year’s draft and then included in Gobert’s trade, they essentially got two first-round picks. Utah picked up the top spot in the deal that sent Royce O’Neill to the Brooklyn Nets. And in a business deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, it turned veteran Patrick Beverly, acquired from the Timberwolves, into 21-year-old Tallinn Horton Tucker.

And Ainge is not finished.

Mike Conley, who turns 35 next month, is not part of the Jazz’s long-term plans. Nor was Bojan Bogdanovic, who will turn 34 during next season’s playoffs. Figures for Jordan Clarkson, 30, will also be available, and the same will likely apply to Paisley’s owner, who turns 26 in November. ESPN reported Utah considers Sexton, 23, and Markkanen, 25, guards, but there is no guarantee that their contracts at Salt Lake City will end.

The Jazz has a plethora of future picks now, and they’ll have more by deadline, if not at the start of bootcamp. They’ve set themselves up to lose a lot of games next season, and if the lottery crashes properly, they may be able to draft the next franchise player. The losses will be painful, but they will come with a side of hope. The same can’t be said about banging your head against the same wall year after year.


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