Donovan Mitchell trade grades: Cavs load up for present and future; Jazz add to massive haul of future assets

Kevin Durant rescinded his trade request. LeBron James re-signs with the Lakers. Kyrie Irving appears to be staying in Brooklyn. The NBA offseason has reached an anticlimactic lull over the past few weeks, but we know not to assume that will continue.

Sure enough, the Cleveland Cavaliers elbowed the top rope on Thursday with a man, Randy Savage, Get Donovan Mitchell from Utah Jazz In exchange for young players and draft picks. Mitchell is expected to be traded, but most reports suggest the New York Knicks have an opportunity to land the 25-year-old three-time All-Star. When talks between New York and Utah stalled (reportedly because the Knicks refused to include Quentin Grimes in the trade), the Cavaliers took the opportunity and positioned themselves as the NBA’s most promising prospect one of the young teams.

Here’s a summary of the reported deal, followed by the grades for each team.

The Cavaliers get:

Jazz gets:

Knight Trading Grade: A+

Let’s start with what the Cavaliers got: a three-time All-Star who has averaged 26 points per game on 44/37/85 shooting over the past two seasons and 28 points per game in 39 playoff games ,include many Score over 50 points in the playoffs. According to Synergy Sports, Mitchell scored over 80 percent in both pick-and-rolls and isolations last season. In short – this guy is a walking bucket who can score from all three levels.

As the team’s only reliable promoter, Darius Garland desperately needs help, as evidenced by the Cavaliers’ 20th-ranked offense last season, and Mitchell will fill that void right away. Mitchell isn’t the most natural passer and assister, according to Synergy, so he’ll be perfectly complemented by Garland, who ranked sixth in the league in assists last season with 8.6 assists per game Aspects are in the 82nd percentile.

Garland and Mitchell, each 6-foot-1, make up one of the smallest backcourts in the NBA, which could pose some problems for the Cavs defense, which was fifth in the league last season. However, they have the backing of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, two of the best defensive bigs in the NBA. The two young 7-footers can block three shots per game, and Mobley could eventually develop into a terrific, convertible perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Basically, Mitchell’s two biggest weaknesses — passing and defense — are overshadowed by his new teammates, at least on paper.

Now, talk about what the Cavaliers gave up. No icing, which is a big bonus. Giving up three unprotected Nos. is basically throwing an atomic bomb on their draft capital and needing to rely on their new core four, for better or worse. Sexton averaged more than 24 points per game in his last healthy season, Markkanen was a rare, mobile 7-footer who could stretch to 3-point range, and Agbagi was the No. 1 pick in the June draft. 14th pick.

But from a Cavaliers perspective, you can see why those assets might not be as valuable as the Jazz. Assuming the health and growth of Cleveland’s young stars, those unprotected first-round picks could be in their teens or twenties — and that’s not exactly what you’re going to do for a playoff-hungry team Find the reach of influential players. Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, the 2026 and 2028 swaps won’t even work because their draft picks should be worse than the rebuilding Jazz.

Sexton obviously struggled to coexist with Garland in the 11 games he played last season, and the Cavaliers have no interest in giving him a Utah-like contract, so he’s largely left out of the team’s future plans. Markkanen’s experiment alongside Allen and Mobley was interesting (7.9 net rating in 621 minutes) but probably unsustainable, leaving Markkanen the victim. While Agbaji is a promising prospect, he’s a 22-year-old rookie who is completely unproven at the NBA level.

So the Cavs gave up a lot, but it’s easy from their perspective to see why the opportunity to add Mitchell to the core of Garland, Mobley and Allen is definitely worth it. With every move, the Cavaliers are primed for success now and in the future, with three All-Stars (and one future All-Star) all under 26.

Jazz trade grade: B+

As Jazz CEO Danny Ainge made clear in the Rudy Gobert trade, Utah wants all the draft picks. If that’s the goal, then Mitchell’s trade makes perfect sense. Even assuming the swap doesn’t go through, three unprotected first-round picks (and a lottery pick for Agbagi) seem to correlate with the market value of a star like Mitchell — especially when everyone knows when he will be traded. On top of that, Utah has added a steady stream of young players to the friendly contracts of Sexton and Markkanen who will either become part of the team’s future or eventually be traded for — you guessed it — more picks.

So when we evaluate this Jazz trade, the real question is what other options are on the table. We’re not entirely sure what the offers to other teams are, but there’s been plenty of coverage of what the Knicks are ready to surrender. Their most recent offers were reportedly RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, two unprotected first-round picks and another top-five protected first-round pick. The Jazz reportedly wanted New York to trade Grimes for Quickley and/or remove protection for a future third overall pick, so the trade fell through and they moved to Cleveland.

Another ESPN report said the Knicks offered Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson and three unprotected first-round picks in early July that the Jazz rejected .

Considering the Cavaliers’ roster post-trade, it’s hard to imagine these picks being anywhere near the top 10, or even by 2029. Would you rather Barrett, a 22-year-old potential All-Star who averaged 20 points per game last season plus the Knicks’ future draft pick, than Cleveland’s? Maybe, but only time will tell.

All we know is that a first-round pick is a gold medal in the NBA. They can be packaged as stars, used as a sweetener in a trade, or combined to move up the draft for the prospect you crave. In the end, even if Cleveland’s draft picks aren’t elite, they’re still first-round picks that can be used in a variety of ways.

Combined with the Gobert and Royce O’Neal trades, Mitchell’s haul means Utah has seven unprotected first-round picks, one top-five protected first-round pick this summer alone The rights and the two draft picks were swapped. Not to mention that their current roster has several players like Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson who could make it to the first round on their own.

Utah’s rebuild is off to a good start, and the rotation and trade is far from over.

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