Cavs acquire Mitchell in blockbuster trade

·2 min read

CLEVELAND — With one bold, unexpected move, the Cleveland Cavaliers raised their profile in the Eastern Conference considerably.

They’re back in the title hunt.

The Cavs made official Saturday (Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, PH time) their acquisition of three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in a trade with Utah, and can start figuring out ways to best integrate his talents into their young core.

Considered outsiders to land the dynamic player for much of this offseason, the Cavs swooped in and put together a package that the Jazz, which had offers from several other teams, couldn’t resist.

Cleveland sent guard Collin Sexton, forward Lauri Markkanen and rookie guard Ochai Agbaji to Utah along with unprotected first-round draft picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029. The teams will also swap their first-round drafting rights in 2026 and 2028.

Sexton, who was a restricted free agent, signed a four-year, $72 million deal as part of the package, his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports told the Associated Press.

In adding Mitchell, the Cavs have, at the very least, entered the conversation to contend in the overloaded East, where Boston, Brooklyn, Miami, Milwaukee and Philadelphia are all considered championship-worthy.

For Utah, the massive roster teardown continues. The Mitchell trade is the second major one this summer. Utah also dealt All-Star center and defensive force Rudy Gobert to Minnesota in July for a slew of draft picks.

It wasn’t long ago that the Mitchell-Gobert tandem made the Jazz a team to fear in the Western Conference. Now, Utah is starting over with a new coach and at least 13 first-round picks over the next seven years.

Mitchell gives Cleveland the type of megastar it takes to win it all. A fearless driver, explosive scorer and creator, Mitchell is a give-me-the-ball-in-crunch-time player who raises his game and his teammates’ game.

He also could be the elder statesman in a projected starting lineup with All-Star point guard Darius Garland (22 years old), All-Star center Jarrett Allen (24), forward Evan Mobley (21) and Isaac Okoro (21). / AP