While Donovan Mitchell is no franchise star, this trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers almost works.
Bleacher Report is back and they have a deal that would see Donovan Mitchell go to the Cleveland Cavaliers. While Bleacher Report’s trades are mostly hot garbage, and Mitchell isn’t worth what the Utah Jazz are looking for him, this trade may not be the worst thing ever.
So firstly, why would I change my mind on Mitchell? I don’t think I have. He’s not a great addition to the Cavs, and defensively, is just awful. A lot of people compare Mitchell to Dwayne Wade, but Wade could play defense. Mitchell can’t.
Yet, it seems more and more likely that Collin Sexton will want more than $20 million per year. If that’s the case, the Cavs would be wise to use him as a trade chip and get something back. Mitchell’s a pretty impressive “something”. While I’d rather keep Sexton and see what he becomes, if he’s asking for that much, then trading him makes sense.
So what does this Bleacher Report trade idea look like?
This trade isn’t terrible but some complaints
So, firstly, let’s just say that only giving up two first-round draft picks is perfect. I can eat that loss, and give the Jazz the better picks in two other years. I’m acceptable with that. I’m also ok with building the trade around Sexton and Okoro.
Yet, where I start having issues are with Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji. I’d rather not give up the rookie, but I can be swayed to part with him, especially since Mitchell has three guaranteed years left on his deal and a fourth-year that’s a player option.
That is a bit sticky as if Mitchell out-plays his deal, he’ll opt out early and if he plays poorly, he’ll opt-in. I feel like the lack of a true fourth year means the Jazz don’t get a guy like Agbaji.
That said, with what the Cavs have and what they need, I’d rather keep Markkanen over Agbaji. I think the Cavs can swing this trade without Markkanen and Agbaji by adding LeVert to the deal. I feel that’s the best balance for the trade. The Jazz gets two young guards to build around, while they can then flip LeVert later in the year.
Plus they get four picks.
I feel like Agbaji’s perception and expectations aren’t good enough to tip the trade in favor of the Cavs against better-built packages so why include him? He may become a great asset, but I don’t think the Jazz are slobbering over the idea of getting him.