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Donovan Mitchell's trade grade: The Cavaliers stack up for now and for the future. Jazz added to a ton of assets

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Kevin Durant has canceled trade request.LeBron James extends contract with Lakers. Kyrie Irving appears to be staying in Brooklyn. The NBA offseason has reached an anticlimactic calm over the past two weeks, but we don’t expect it to continue.

Sure enough, the Cleveland Cavaliers elbowed macho man Randy Savage off the top rope Thursday. Acquire Donovan Mitchell from Utah Jazz In exchange for young players and picks. Mitchell was expected to be traded, but most reports suggest the New York Knicks have his track inside to win his 25-year-old a three-time All-Star. rice field. When negotiations between New York and Utah hit a dead end (reportedly because the Knicks refused to include Quentin Grimes in his contract), the Cavaliers jumped at the opportunity, making him one of the NBA’s most promising young teams. established itself as one.

Below is a summary of the reported trades, followed by each team’s stats.

The Cavaliers will receive:

Jazz reception:

Cavaliers Trade Grade: A+

Let’s start with what the Cavaliers have acquired: A three-time All-Star who has scored 26 points per game on 44/37/85 shooting splits over the past two seasons and averaged 28 points in 39 playoff games. many 50+ postseason games. Mitchell was above the 80th percentile in pick-and-roll and isolation scoring last season, according to Synergy Sports. In short, Man is a walking bucket that can score from all three levels.

Darius Garland desperately needs help as the team’s only reliable initiator, as evidenced by the Cavaliers’ 20th-place offense last season, and Mitchell will close that gap soon. Not a natural passer and facilitator, Garland, who ranked sixth in the league in assists per game last season with 8.6 assists per game and was in the 82nd percentile in possessions and assists, would perfectly complement him, according to Synergy.

At 6-foot-1 each, Garland and Mitchell make up one of the smallest backcourts in the NBA, which could lead to some problems for the Cavaliers’ defense, which was fifth in the league last season. there is. But they are supported by two of his NBA defensive big men, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. With two young 7-footers combined, he blocks three shots per game, Mobley could eventually develop into a transcendent, switchable, perennial Defensive Player of the Year contender.

Basically, Mitchell’s two biggest weaknesses, passing and defense, have been covered by his new teammates, at least on paper.

Now for what the Cavaliers gave up. No sugar coating. This is a big harvest. Abandoning the first three of him unprotected basically brings the atomic bomb to their draft capital and forces them to rely on the new Core 4 for better or worse. Sexton averaged over 24 points in a healthy last season, Markkanen is the rare mobile 7-footer who can extend his 3-point range to his range, and Agbaj is 14-plus in his June draft. was named second.

But from the Cavaliers’ perspective, we can see why these assets aren’t as valuable as the Jazz. Given the health and development of Cleveland’s young stars, an unsuspecting first-round pick is likely to be in his late teens to late 20s, finding an impactful player for a team with strong playoff aspirations. Not a range. The 2026 and 2028 swap wouldn’t work without some contingency.

Sexton clearly had issues co-existing with Garland in 11 games last season, and the Cavs weren’t interested in giving him a deal like Utah did, so essentially he Excluded from future plans for the franchise. While Markkanen’s experiment with playing alongside Allen and Mobley was interesting (+7.9 net rating for 621 minutes), it’s probably not sustainable, so Markkanen is a consumable. has become Agbaj is a promising player, but at 22, he’s a rookie and has yet to prove himself at the NBA level.

So the Cavaliers gave up a lot, but from their perspective it’s hard to see why that haul would be absolutely worth it for the opportunity to add Mitchell to the core of Garland, Mobley and Allen. With three under-26 All-Stars (and one future All-Star) in one fell swoop, the Cavaliers are poised for success both now and in the future.

Jazz trade grade: B+

As Jazz lead executive Danny Ainge made clear in the Rudy Gobert trade, Utah wants every pick. If that was the goal, Mitchell’s trade made perfect sense. Even assuming the swap doesn’t go through, his three unprotected first-round picks (and Agbazi’s lottery pick) appear to be about the market value of Mitchell’s talented star. will be split. On top of that, Utah has added solid young players with friendly deals in Sexton and Markkanen.

So when evaluating the Jazz in this trade, the question is what other options were there? We’re not entirely sure what the offers to other teams were, but we’ve had informative reports about what the Knicks were prepared to surrender. Lee was reportedly among the two unprotected first-round picks and the top five protected first-round picks. The Jazz reportedly wanted New York to trade Grimes for Quickley or remove his protection with a future third pick, so the deal fell apart and he moved to Cleveland.

According to another ESPN report, the Knicks offered Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson and three unsuspecting first-round picks in early July, but the Jazz turned them down.

Given the Cavaliers’ roster after the trade, it’s hard to imagine these players anywhere near the top 10 in 2029. Points per game last season and a future pick for the Knicks instead of Cleveland? Perhaps, but time will tell.

What we do know is that first round players are gold in the NBA. They can be packaged for stars, used as a sweetener in the deal, or combined and moved up in draft for the prospects you crave. may not be the best player, but it’s still a first-round player that can be used in many ways.

Combined with the Gobert and Royce O’Neill deals, Mitchell’s acquisition will give Utah seven unprotected first-round picks, one top-five protected first-round pick, and two picks this summer alone. Needless to say, there are several players on the current roster, including Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson, who have earned themselves first-round picks. It is possible.

Utah’s rebuilding is off to a good start and the hauls and deals aren’t over yet.