The Cleveland Cavaliers might just have gotten what they needed with one bold, unexpected move.
The Utah Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland for spare parts. The move is going to raise the Cavs' chances to contend in the Eastern Conference.
It might even bring the team into the title hunt depending on how things mesh.
Jazz trade Mitchell to Cavs
The trade was made official on Saturday when three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell was sent to Cleveland in a trade with Utah.
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 in return.
The teams will also swap their first-round drafting rights in 2026 and 2028.
Will Cleveland contend in the East?
The Cavaliers were considered dark horses last season when they almost made it into the play-in but fell short to the Brooklyn Nets.
Mitchell wanted out of Utah and the New York Knicks where initially the frontrunners in landing his services.
Considered outsiders to land a marquee talent this offseason, the Cavs was able to create a one-sided trade package that Utah, themselves couldn't refuse even if it means being on the losing end.
Adding a legitimate offensive threat in Mitchell will favor the team as Jarrett Allen will definitely be able to do what he does best, which is focus on defense. Evan Mobley will also be able to be a more balanced lengthy two-way player at frontcourt.
Where does this leave the Jazz?
The recent trade is the official declaration of the team that they are going into rebuild mode. They already traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the offseason.
There's no way they're going to win solely on Sexton's leadership on offense. It's officially Mike Conley's team and the "Young Bull" will have to play behind a scoring guard again.
It's no guarantee that this effort to tank in the draft will win them Victor Wenbanyama in the 2023 NBA draft but it's worth a shot with all the spare parts they got on cheap contracts.
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