Cleveland Cavaliers acquire All-Star Donovan Mitchell from Utah Jazz in NBA trade shocker

The Cleveland Cavaliers were not content just being a good team in the Eastern Conference.

They want to contend for the East title.

In a move that rocked the NBA, the Cavaliers acquired three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks and rights to swap picks, two people with knowledge of the trade told USA TODAY Sports.

They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the trade is officially announced.

The Jazz made it clear they are in rebuild mode after a lack of playoff progress with Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and were amenable to moving Mitchell after they traded Gobert to Minnesota.

Donovan Mitchell in action during a Utah Jazz game against the Dallas Mavericks during the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs.

New York and Miami were obvious suitors for Mitchell, but the Knicks’ extension of RJ Barrett all but ended a trade between the Jazz and Knicks, and the Heat were not willing to trade certain players to accommodate the Jazz.

Working quietly without leaks, Cavavliers general manager Koby Altman – fresh off a Mediterranean vacation – went to work and pulled off a stunning deal.

The Cavs now have a roster that features Mitchell, 2022 All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, 2021-22 All-Rookie selection Evan Mobley and veterans Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Caris LeVert.

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Cleveland finished 44-38 last season and was 35-21 after beating Indiana on Feb. 11 – good for second place in the East and just one game behind Miami. Injuries derailed the Cavs in the final portion of the season but the potential was obvious.

With Mobley and Allen anchoring the defense, the Cavs allowed 108.9 points per 100 possessions, fifth best in the league.

Garland came into his own offensively as a playmaker and scorer with Sexton missing most of the season, but the Cavs were still 20th offensively. The addition of Mitchell, who averaged 25.9 points last season, will help on that end, and the Cavs shouldn’t see too much negative impact defensively.

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Altman has done a fantastic job rebuilding the Cavaliers following LeBron James’ departure to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, and this Mitchell deal will put in him the conversation for Executive of the Year. Mitchell has three years remaining on his five-year, $163 million contract, though the final season in 2025-26 is a player option. The deal got the attention of James who tweeted, “SO TOUGH!!!!! Super Dope.”

As part of the deal, Sexton has agreed to a four-year, $72 million extension with Utah, which has stockpiled draft picks. Including the Gobert deal with the Timberwolves, Utah has at least 13 first-round picks through 2029, not including Walker Kessler, acquired from Minnesota, and Agbaji, who were first-round picks in 2022.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donovan Mitchell: Cleveland Cavaliers acquire All-Star from Utah Jazz


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