After the New York Knicks pulled away from talks on Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers pursued and acquired three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in a trade with the Utah Jazz on Thursday, according to ESPN sources.
According to insiders, the Cavaliers will send the Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, rookie wing Ochai Agbaji, guard Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round selections (2025, 2027, and 2029), and two pick swaps (2026 and 2028) in exchange for Mitchell.
Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, Sexton’s agent, confirmed a four-year, $72 million sign-and-trade agreement with the Jazz.
The addition of Mitchell to a lineup that includes two 2022 All-Stars — guard Darius Garland and centre Jarrett Allen — and Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley, who appears destined to become an All-NBA player — transforms the Cavaliers into an Eastern Conference contender with potential staying power.
The Effect Of The Addition Of Mitchell To A Line-Up That Includes Two 2022 All-Stars
Utah has 13 unprotected or lightly protected first-round picks through 2029 and two 2022 first-round picks, including Kansas’ Agbaji and 7-footer Walker Kessler, who arrived with four first-round picks from Minnesota, as it reshapes its roster with offseason trades of All-Star Rudy Gobert and now Mitchell.
Utah intends to continue conversations with experienced free agents such as Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley, and could be on the verge of an Oklahoma City-style draught haul.
Cleveland president of basketball operations Koby Altman had been in contact with the Jazz until late last week, but conversations stopped Friday after the two teams couldn’t reach an agreement, according to sources. Nonetheless, Altman contacted Utah general manager Justin Zanik on Tuesday morning and resumed talks, according to sources.
Why Knicks Refused To Include Quentin Grimes In A Trade With RJ Barrett To Get Mitchell?
They had a deal in place for Mitchell within 48 hours. New York possessed the assets Utah desired, and the two sides appeared to be getting closer to a deal Sunday night and into Monday, but the Knicks refused to include Quentin Grimes in a trade with RJ Barrett to get Mitchell, according to sources.
When guard Immanuel Quickley was presented as a trade replacement for Grimes, Utah wanted three unprotected first-round draught picks as part of the package, but New York would only accept a third first-round pick with top-five protections, according to sources.
According to insiders, those packages would have included Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round selection, two second-round picks, two pick swaps, and two expiring contracts from a third team. According to insiders, New York would have sent Evan Fournier and a first-round selection to a third team to avoid Utah having to pay Fournier’s remaining $37 million.
Barrett’s Contract Finalized At Four Years And Up To $120 Million
Prior to Mitchell Robinson signing his contract deal, New York and Utah talked multiple variations of a Mitchell trade, including a hefty Knicks’ first offer in early July. According to ESPN, around the start of negotiations in early July, New York offered a package that includes Barrett, Obi Toppin, Robinson, and three unprotected first-round picks. Utah turned down that offer, and Robinson signed his extension, therefore ruling out the idea of him being included in a deal.
While in trade talks with Utah, New York president Leon Rose was negotiating a rookie contract extension with Barrett’s agent, Bill Duffy, and set Monday night as a deadline with the Jazz to achieve a deal – or suspend talks to negotiate a new agreement with Barrett, according to sources.
Barrett’s contract — four years and up to $120 million, according to Duffy — included a “poison pill” provision that would have prompted the Knicks and Jazz to begin talks with new deal parameters based on the extension.
How Utah Has Made The Playoffs For The Past Six Seasons?
After the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in July, Mitchell became available in trade talks. Mitchell, 25, has averaged 23.9 points and 4.5 assists per game for the Jazz over the course of his five-year career, and he has been an All-Star each of the last three seasons.
He has four years and $134.9 million left on the maximum agreement he signed during the 2020 offseason, though the last year is a $37.1 million player option. Utah has made the playoffs for the past six seasons, the longest active streak in the Western Conference, but has never advanced beyond the second round.
Following last season’s first-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the organization underwent dramatic changes, including the departure of coach Quin Snyder, the appointment of Will Hardy to replace him, and the trades of Gobert and starting forward Royce O’Neale