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Donovan Mitchell Trade Grade

Utah Jazz get:

Lauri Markkanen
Ochai Agbaji
Collin Sexton 
Unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029
First-round swap rights in 2026 and 2028

It wasn’t quite a Rudy Gobert haul, but I don’t know that we will ever see a haul like that again for that level of player. No team was even willing to drop that kind of deal for Kevin Durant, it seems. The Jazz after pulling that off were certainly looking for something similar if not better. I think they knew all along that with Gobert it was a one time fleecing and the would have to adjust expectations eventually. Plus, they had already started the tear down so it was beneficial to get the next biggest part done before training camp.

That doesn’t mean they didn’t do well, I believe they did in this trade. They got 3 unprotected picks, but with the Cavs looking like a team that will be drafting in the 20’s the next 5 years that’s not exactly amazing IMO. You never know how things can go sideways or injuries though.

I do however love getting Collin Sexton for the Jazz. He signed for 18 million a year which I think is very fair if he can get healthy and back to what he was, and he will have more room to shine for Utah. That’s a solid young player with potential and a reasonable deal. I like him better than RJ Barrett which the knicks deal was being built around. He averaged 24.3ppg 4.4apg and shot 37.1% from three and an effective .573% True Shooting at 22 years old. The health is still a concern coming off injury but for a team like Utah it’s a great flyer IMO. I think if healthy, he could still develop into a Donovan Mitchell lite type player on a deal.

AgeppgrpgapgspgPERTS%
Collin Sexton6-1, 1902224.33.14.4118.0.573%
Donovan Mitchell6-1, 2152223.84.14.21.417.2.537%
2525.94.25.31.521.6.572%

I understand you are selling low after an injury one could argue Sexton was ahead of Mitchell at 22 years old.

Markkanen at 25 years old also has value, I believe, to keep or flip at the trade deadline. They should be able to get another pick for him. The upside for Markkeanen is essentially done. He is what he is I think, but he’s still a very serviceable NBA player that can help a lot of teams IMO. The fact alone he is 7-0′ tall 240lb pounds and played 64% of his minutes at SF and 9% at SG on a 44 win team is ridiculous. I’ll admit I never thought that would work, but he pulled it off, and he’s proven to be a versatile player, you can play up and down the lineup and still be effective. He should net a return if and when they move him.

Ochai Agbaji was just a late lottery pick in this year’s draft. He’s essentially a 4th 1st round pick and a solid late lottery one. He’s a little older at 22 years old nearly the same age as Sexton. He can probably step in right away on a rebuilding team like Utah and be productive after leading Kansas to the national championship. I generally think Donovan Mitchell(27th on my NBA Rank) is a little overrated as a player, so to get all these young players and picks for just him Utah aced it IMO.

Grade: A

Cleveland Cavaliers get:
Donovan Mitchell

Cleveland has a core of 3 players under 25 years old that drove a 44 win team and did very well for themselves, getting a 26 year old All Star who fits well into their timeline is a big deal. It’s a great match for both parties, with a defensive-driven team with two very good defensive bigs behind Mitchell is exactly what he needs to succeed. The set up should be much like it was in Utah with an all time defensive big in Gobert behind him. Also Cleveland has little chance of signing this level of free agent so I can understand the thinking.

If you have read previous trade grades you know I believe picks are overvalued as many as bust, this is the article I wrote on why . Anytime you can get an all star for the price of likely late picks in the 20’s I don’t think you aren’t really losing much. Even many lottery and top 5 picks are a complete bust for that matter. Mitchell however is a little overrated IMO to drop this much value as well as 3 players that also have good value. I think he’s a weaker All Star to give up all they did. For one even if I do not value those picks some other teams would, and they could be saved to use to get a better star IMO or just take shots in the draft.

Like I said above I still think if healthy, Collin Sexton can be a Donovan Mitchell Lite type player and at the price of 12 million less and 3 years younger and not giving up all these other assets I don’t think if he’s healthy he gives you all that much less. His statline when last healthy wasn’t that different and they are both 6-1 officially. For all the fit problems with Garland you have with Sexton they exist with Mitchell too. Sure Mitchell is much stockier and has a 6-10 wingspan but he doesn’t really use the physicals that well on defense, and he’s not a very good defender. He may be better than Sexton but not at the price IMO.

You also lose the upside and team control of this year’s lottery pick. I think what made Cleveland unique in Markkanen and his versatility and being able to play so big as a team. They needed that three point shooting threat he brings with two non shooting post players. I think what made him most unique and the defense work in some ways is that could also bang a little in the post when Mobley had a bigger match up and free Mobley up to roam on defense. Mobley is certainly a weapon on defense but at 215 pounds could still struggle with some matchups. Markkanen was not going to be a long term SF probably nor should he be, but while Mobley is trying to gain weight having another big guy like that to hold a block and let Mobley use his lateral speed to roam had value.

Trade Grade: Cleveland C

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