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Donovan Mitchell trade marks end of jazz era

On April 16th, the New York Knicks from William Wesley to Alan Houston caught the attention of the NBA. That day, the Knicks front much of his office showed up in rather prominent fashion for Game 1 of his series playoffs between the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks.

If you ask the Nicks why they are there, their reason would be to support Julius Randle. Their power forward from the Dallas areaIn fact, they were there to show the presence of Jalen Branson and Donovan Mitchell, perceived by many as a message of their intention to pursue both players in the upcoming offseason.

That April day marked the informal beginning of a wild saga between the Jazz and the Knicks. By trading the All-Star guard to the Cleveland Cavaliers instead of the Knicks, he ended up just shy of Labor Day weekend.

That begs the question: why isn’t Mitchell heading to New York?

From the Cavaliers, the Jazz will receive the kind of package they’ve been asking for much of their negotiations with the Knicks. Player compensation in the form of guard Colin Sexton, power forward Lauri Markkanen and rookie shooting guard Ochai Agbaj. The Jazz also scored three coveted unprotected first-round picks scheduled for 2025, 2027 and 2029. In 2026 and 2028, the nomination rights will be switched.

The Jazz are also in trade talks for the remaining players, including veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic, guard Mike Conley and guard Jordan Clarkson, according to sources. But with Mitchell in Cleveland and Rudy Gobert in Minnesota, the franchise has officially turned the page in its era. For Jazz, it’s all about how they start a new chapter in hopes of potentially leading to a title.

It also ends a very public and sometimes controversial trading conversation with the Knicks that brought up conversations over and over again about trades, offers, counteroffers and leverage. The Knicks were seen as the frontrunners to acquire Mitchell and perhaps the only team in the league with the necessary assets to separate Mitchell from the Jazz. After all, sources say the Knicks never let go of the third unguarded first-round pick the Jazz wanted in a package headlined by small forward RJ Barrett.

Even when talks fell apart on Monday night, sources said the Knicks believed the Jazz would be back on the table, believing the Knicks had the best package for Mitchell and that the Jazz had He believed he had no other choice. On multiple occasions, sources said athletic The Jazz are intrigued by offers from multiple teams other than the Knicks, and the Jazz keep it.

After Monday night, Utah never spoke to New York again regarding Mitchell.

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the cavaliers are coming

Long ago, one of the originators of hip-hop, LL Cool J, dropped a popular song called “I’m That Type of Guy.”

Essentially, this is what the Cavaliers did to the Knicks.

Just last week, the Cavaliers made an offer to Mitchell. The Jazz liked it, but wanted to continue negotiations with the Knicks. I didn’t.

On Monday, the Knicks signed Barrett to a rookie deal worth $120 million over the next four years. Sources say the Jazz were still chasing Barrett after the extension. But Tuesday morning, the Cavaliers reached out to the Jazz after learning that they had called off talks. The team worked on him for the next two days and quickly reached a deal. Sources say the Jazz didn’t give the Knicks a chance to come back and beat out Cleveland’s offer.

Is the Cleveland package better than the best New York package?

Is it better than the final package offered by Knicks? Yes.

By this point, however, Jazz was all over as a front office. They wanted to know which direction they were going with the final roster. Negotiations with the Knicks have been a long and winding road to nowhere. This process lasted almost two months. Labor Day was approaching. It’s time for Jazz to start making real decisions.

Was Mitchell’s asking price in Utah high? Sure. The Jazz were trading his 3-time All-Star, who performed well in the postseason. The Jazz probably had to get the bad money back in a deal in the form of Evan Fournier, who was a great player in a vacuum, but to no avail for the Jazz. I was trading to the transfer destination. That means the Knicks probably didn’t have to worry about moving out of New York after Mitchell’s current contract ends. Add in that Mitchell, at his 25-year-old, a maniacal worker who’s always honing his game and not yet in the prime of his career, Jazz is the type of player he’ll be hard-pressed to find again in future drafts. I knew you were trading

Then, with the Knicks apparently longing for Mitchell from afar and falling short of offering the Jazz what they thought was market value, the Jazz were happy to move the star to another deal. handed out to places.

New York wanted to trade Mitchell but didn’t want to sacrifice assets, believing they could use some of those assets to trade another star in the future. He refused to accept an offer that demanded only the surrender of two defenseless first-rounders. Nicks loved the idea of ​​pairing Mitchell with Branson. Additionally, Mitchell was traded to a direct competitor.

With this deal, the Cavaliers are now Eastern Conference players. Mitchell and Darius Garland should soon be one of the best starting his backcourt in the league. are they small? yes. But defensively, the Cavaliers have Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen behind them, and Cleveland is past the Knicks in this trade. It remains to be seen how good the Cavaliers will be, but they now basically have four All-Star level players in their starting lineup and they’re a formidable presence.

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End of rebuild

Utah now has more draft money over the next seven years than anyone in the league except Oklahoma City. The Jazz will also leave the offseason with two members of first-round 2022 NBA Draft pick Agbaj and Walker Kessler, who was acquired in a deal with Gobert. The Cavaliers signed Sexton to his four-year, $72 million deal in a sign-and-trade with the Jazz, making him a building block in Utah. Sexton is a dynamic attacking presence, an elite contender, and a staunch defender, albeit to a lesser extent than Mitchell. He is the starting point for Utah.

Despite all the deals, it was difficult for the Jazz to move on from Gobert and Mitchell.

They were a pairing that went 243-147 together. They went to the postseason five times in a row. They made it to the second round on multiple occasions. They had a league-best record in the 2020-21 season.

However, they never made it to the Western Conference Finals. Last season’s opening loss to the Mavericks was the final blow to the Jazz front office. In fact, this jazz era was broken by a storm of Terrance Mann’s corner 3-pointers and a dreadful second-round loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2021.

Mitchell and Gobert were really good mates. Unfortunately, they did really well and not at championship level, so when the front his office traded Gobert at the beginning of the summer, they started listening to offers for Mitchell.

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Between the two deals, Utah’s asset pool is as deep as possible. The Jazz will have multiple first round picks in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029. All of these picks are unprotected or lightly protected. They plan to have a series of cap spaces next summer that could be used in trade talks. Sextons act as building blocks. Agbaj and Kessler are young players to watch.

Utah’s backcourt is still super crowded, so it will be interesting to see what happens before and after training camp. Sure, the Jazz would love to see what they have in Agbazi, but there are people like Clarkson, Malik Beasley and Tarren Horton Tucker around. Not to mention Jared Butler, Leandro Bormalo and Nikail Alexander Walker.

The most important thing for jazz is that they can move forward. Gobert was traded. Mitchell traded. No more Utah Jazz of yesterday. Will Hardy has a new head coach. A new member has joined the coaching staff. How long does it take to rebuild a franchise? that’s a good question. The Jazz will miss the postseason this year and have been loaded with hopes that at least he will win one lottery ticket in the 2023 draft. Beyond that, the front office wants to see significant improvements quickly.

With the Mitchell trade, the Utah Jazz finished a chapter. What will the next chapter consist of?


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(Photo by Donovan Mitchell: Melissa Maichak/Getty Images)

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