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ESPN: Cavs Won't Trade Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland or Mobley for Donovan Mitchell

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2022

Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers' three centerpieces would all be off limits in trade discussions centered on Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Windhorst reported Friday on his Hoop Collective podcast (via HoopsHype) that Evan Mobley, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen "are not available" to the Jazz.

While they didn't qualify for the playoffs, the Cavs exceeded expectations by winning 44 games and qualifying for the play-in tournament in 2021-22. The franchise isn't yet in championship-or-bust mode, but building a roster that can get to the next level is the challenge for president of basketball operations Koby Altman.

That's where Mitchell would come in.

SNY's Ian Begley reported Tuesday that Cleveland "touched base with Utah about a Mitchell trade in recent days."

There's no harm in reaching out to the Jazz because the opportunity to acquire a three-time All-Star guard in his prime doesn't present itself often. Mitchell is the kind of player who's often unavailable to a small-market team like the Cavs, too.

But it's difficult to envision this deal ever happening.

For Altman, trading one of Mobley, Garland or Allen would be a big gamble when he's getting a player who may not be in Cleveland for long. Mitchell is under contract for three more seasons, but nothing would stop him from demanding a trade in a year or two.

The aforementioned obstacles to pursuing stars in free agency puts a premium on developing homegrown talent.

Pairing Mitchell with Garland, who just agreed to a five-year, $192.9 million extension, would inevitably create the same defensive problems the Cavs encountered with Garland and Collin Sexton as well. You're going to have trouble on the perimeter when your two starting guards are 6'1".

From Utah's perspective, Cleveland isn't all that attractive a trading partner anyway. Absent getting Mobley, the Cavaliers may not have much it would want in a move of this magnitude.

The Jazz appear to be going into a full rebuild, so this isn't an ideal time to add a young player who's on a rookie max such as Garland. By the time the team is ready to contend again, Garland could be only a few years away from unrestricted free agency.

Allen, meanwhile, will turn 25 midway through the 2022-23 season, so he doesn't really match Utah's timeline.

And if Mobley, Garland and Allen are all untouchable, then the Cavs have little in their trade arsenal beyond draft picks. Kevin Love, Lauri Markkanen, Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and Ochai Agbaji aren't going to get it done.

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