Star Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell is traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Star Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell is traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Sports

Donovan Mitchell, a three-time All-Star guard for the Utah Jazz, was aggressively pursued by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, according to ESPN sources.

According to sources, the Cavaliers will trade Mitchell for Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks, and two pick swaps.

The deal was disclosed to ESPN by Sexton’s agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

With the addition of Mitchell to a lineup that already features two 2022 All-Stars, guard Darius Garland and centre Jarrett Allen, as well as Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley, the deal makes the Cavaliers an Eastern Conference contender with long-term potential.

Utah has two 2022 picks, Kansas’ Agbaji, and 7-footer Walker Kessler, who came with four Minnesota first-round picks, among its 13 unprotected or lightly protected first-round picks through 2029.

Utah intends to continue discussions regarding the release of veterans Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley and may consider a draught haul akin to Oklahoma City.

Sources claim that Koby Altman and the Jazz had discussions up until late last week but were unable to come to an agreement.

According to sources, Altman spoke with Utah GM Justin Zanik once more Tuesday morning. In less than 48 hours, Mitchell was signed.

The sides appeared close to a deal Sunday night and Monday because New York had the assets Utah wanted, but sources claim the Knicks baulked at sending Quentin Grimes along with RJ Barrett to acquire Mitchell.

Immanuel Quickley was suggested as a swap for Grimes, but sources claim Utah insisted on three unprotected first-round picks.

A third team’s two expiring contracts, two second-round picks, two pick swaps, and Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round pick were also reportedly included, according to sources. According to sources, New York would have dealt Evan Fournier and a first-round pick to a different team.

Before Mitchell Robinson’s contract extension, New York and Utah discussed a Mitchell trade, including a sizable Knicks offer in early July.

Early in July, according to sources, New York made an offer for Barrett, Obi Toppin, Robinson, and three unprotected first-round picks. Robinson signed his extension after Utah rejected the offer, ending his trade options.

On a rookie contract extension, New York President Leon Rose conducted separate talks with Bill Duffy, Barrett’s agent, and gave the Jazz until Monday night to respond.

According to sources, Barrett will halt contract negotiations. Until next July, a “poison pill” clause in Barrett’s four-year, $120 million contract would have made the Knicks and Jazz reopen contract negotiations.

The Jazz switched to Cleveland and stopped communicating with the Knicks, which prevented New York from pursuing Mitchell as planned, according to sources.

The Knicks took a chance on Mitchell being available. Sources claimed Mitchell was thrilled to join the Knicks.

The Jazz traded Mitchell after sending Gobert to the Timberwolves in July. In his five years with the Jazz, Mitchell, 25, has averaged 23.9 points and 4.5 assists per game. The last three seasons, he has been an All-Star.

His maximum extension, which he signed in 2020, has four years and $134.9 million left, but the final season is a player option with a $37.1 million cap.

Utah has the longest active playoff streak in the Western Conference at six years, but they have never progressed past the second round.

The Jazz fired coach Quin Snyder after last season’s first-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks, hired Will Hardy in his place, and dealt for Gobert and Royce O’Neale.

Source: ESPN