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Cavaliers trade Markkanen, Sexton, Agbaji to Jazz for Donovan Mitchell

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 4 weeks ago on
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Cavaliers trade Markkanen, Sexton, Agbaji to Jazz for Donovan Mitchell
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are trading Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji to the Utah Jazz for Donovan Mitchell. This blockbuster NBA trade was first reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

In addition to trading away forward Markkanen, guard Sexton and rookie wing Agbaji, the Cavaliers also sent the Jazz three unprotected first-round draft picks (2025, 2027 and 2029) and two pick swaps (2026 and 2028).

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, Sexton’s agent, reported that the fourth-year player signed a four-year, $72 million deal to join the Jazz as well.

With Mitchell now in the lineup for the Cavaliers, the team is a solid playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley will receive help from the three-time All-Star.

In July, the Jazz received five first-round draft picks from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Rudy Gobert trade. Of course, the team now has 13 unprotected first-round draft picks through 2029. But the team still has talent to remain competitive in the Western Conference.

Plus, Utah has two 2022 first-round players: Big 12 Player of the Year Agbaji and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Walker Kessler. They have the pieces to qualify for the playoffs again next season.

Cavaliers trade Markkanen, Sexton, and Agbaji to Jazz for Donovan Mitchell

Last season, in 67 games played with the Jazz, Mitchell averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He also averaged 44.8% shooting from the field and 35.5% from 3-point range.

However, the Cavaliers losing Sexton hurts. Because of a season-ending knee injury, he only played 11 games of the 2021-22 season. On November 7, 2021, he suffered a torn left meniscus against the New York Knicks.

Though, Sexton averaged a career-high 24.3 points per game with the Cavaliers in the 2020-21 season. Garland, his former teammate, has yet to average 24 points with Cleveland in his playing career.

If Mitchell can play at the same offensive-juggernaut level with the Cavaliers as he did with the Jazz, this trade will benefit both contenders. Some fans could argue that Cavs G.M. Mike Gansey gave away too much to acquire Mitchell. The word fleeced comes to mind.

Having said that, it’s early. Sexton could get injured again, or Mitchell might not dominate the court offensively playing alongside Garland. At this point, NBA fans can only make assumptions and toss around meaningless predictions.

Let’s say Mitchell averages 25 points per game with the Cavaliers. The team has not made the playoffs since LeBron James’ final season with them, which was the 2017-18 season. Back then, the Golden State Warriors swept the Cavs in the 2018 NBA Finals.

Garland has to stay healthy for this trade to benefit the Cavaliers. Otherwise, Donovan Mitchell will be on his own. While with Vanderbilt, Garland suffered the same meniscus injury as Sexton.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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