The Cleveland Cavaliers fleeced the Utah Jazz out of Donovan Mitchell
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired three-time All-Star and superstar shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, putting the Cleveland Cavaliers in a position to dominate the Eastern Conference. The Cavs acquired the former Utah Jazz shooting guard for Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, three unprotected first-round picks, and two pick swaps.
They didn’t have to give up Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, or even Kevin Love to make the deal work. All in all, this is a great trade for the Cavs and an absolutely bonkers trade for the Jazz.
Well, for the Cavs, what did they give up? They gave up Sexton, who is smaller and less athletic compared to Mitchell. Yes, both guards are 6’1, but Mitchell is more muscular and is nearly 30 pounds heavier. He also has a longer wing-span as well, which will help him knock away hands that reach in to try and steal the ball away from him. Mitchell is also considerably stronger and faster than Sexton, making him far more dynamic than Sexton as a scorer.
Sexton is really only a layup and mid-range jump shooter, but Mitchell can score from all three areas of the court. He may not be the best three-point shooter, but he’s capable. The rest of his game is far more impressive than Sexton’s
They got a Top 20 player for next to nothing.
Why the Utah Jazz got fleeced by the Cleveland Cavaliers
The Jazz are going to have five years’ worth of draft picks from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Three unprotected and two swaps. Mitchell’s contract with the Cavs is four years, and if the team wins, he’ll likely look to extend.
Even if not, the team would still have Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen across that time span, plus potentially longer.
The best case scenario for the Jazz is everyone but Garland leaves by year five and they get one lottery pick. The worst-case scenario is that everyone stays, and the Jazz only end up getting three late-first-round picks.
As far as the talent goes, Agbaji looked rough in the summer league and is a completely unknown commodity. He may bust. Sexton is a mid-range scorer and not much else and Lauri Markkanen, who I’m very high on, isn’t expected to be in Utah for long.
The Jazz are banking on their picks, the picks they got from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Rudy Gobert, and the Cavs’ picks to rebuild. If things all go according to plan, however, the T-Wolves and Cavs won’t have high picks, thus making these picks nothing more than role-player fodder.
Danny Ainge’s obsession with draft picks didn’t work out for him in Boston, really only getting it right twice once. With his entire career being based on the Nets’ inability to look at a bunch of 30-year-olds and saying “no thanks”.
The Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry trade to Brooklyn netted them the picks that would turn into Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. While two generational talents, sure, but only one trade. The rest of the Celtics picks under Ainge; not great.
Ainge had 29 first-round picks in his time as Celtics GM, and in that time he’s drafted just two major players; Brown and Tatum. Yes, he’s had a few other guys like Robert Williams, Marcus Smart, and Al Jefferson, but most of those guys are pieces to a puzzle, not the full picture.
In fact, the only time he ever won anything was when he traded away the picks for Garnett and Ray Allen. He never won anything with his draft picks.
This notion that Ainge is somehow a grifter is hilarious. He’s not a bad GM, by any means, but there’s a media-driven narrative that Ainge isn’t someone you should trade with, despite his draft picks and trades usually ending up netting the Celtics nothing.
As far as his drafts go, he’s missed far more than he’s hit. As far as his trades go, the only one that you can really say he grifted anyone regarding was the trade with the Nets. All of the other trades were either duds for the Celtics or fair for both.
In fact, Ainge’s terrible decision to trade for Kyrie Irving is directly responsible for the Cavs getting Mitchell.
Some grifter, huh?