Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
After five seasons and in the same way many playoff berths, the Utah Jazz did that which was once thought unthinkable, trading Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, in accordance with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Cleveland will send three unprotected first round picks and two pick swaps within the deal to Utah for Mitchell, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/vfphmFMIAf
In accordance with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji may also check out the Jazz in the offer.
Between trading Mitchell to Cleveland and your choice to trade Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Jazz will have 13 protected or “lightly protected” draft picks through 2029, per Wojnarowski.
It’s hard to trust that Mitchell, just 25, is not any longer in Utah. He quickly became the facial skin of the franchise after an epic rookie season in 2017-18 where he averaged 20.5 points and 3.7 assists per game.
In his Jazz tenure, he averaged 23.9 points, 4.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three. He’s a three-time All-Star and something of the very most dangerous perimeter scorers in the NBA.
Even though duo of Mitchell and Gobert led Utah to five straight postseason appearances, they never got the Jazz at night second round, including a disappointing 4-2 series loss contrary to the Dallas Mavericks in the initial round this yearmade even more troubling by Luka Doncic’s injury absence for half the matchup.
It had been the ultimate straw for that duo. Mitchell had struggled during the past with Gobert’s cavalier attitude toward the COVID-19 pandemic sufficient reason for the way the Utah medical staff handled his ankle injury before last year’s postseason. Gobert also seemed to call out Mitchell’s defensive effort in January, which reportedly didn’t sit well.
Until this offseason, Mitchell had worked through any issues in Utah. However when the Jazz finished the standard season with seven losses within their final 11 games and didn’t see through the Mavericks, it became abundantly clear that the team wasn’t a championship contender as currently constructed.
The belief was that the Jazz would shake up the roster around Mitchell, especially after they traded Gobert in July. But Mitchell is following him out the entranceway despite having three more years (and a new player option for a fourth) remaining on his contract.
It is the end of a time in Utah and the start of one in Cleveland, where Mitchell will pair with the talented young duo of Darius Garland and Evan Mobley.
The Cavaliers just missed from a playoff berth last season, falling in the play-in tournament. Acquiring Mitchell should make sure they are a significant threat in the Eastern Conference in the years ahead, though.