The Cleveland Cavaliers are suddenly contenders in the Eastern Conference after reportedly acquiring three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in a trade with the Utah Jazz.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Cavs sent point guard Collin Sexton, forward Lauri Markkanen, 2022 No. 14 overall pick Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks and two pick swaps to Utah to land the 25-year-old.
Cavaliers' Updated Roster
PG: Darius Garland, Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto, RJ Nembhard Jr.
SG: Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert, Dylan Windler
SF: Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens
PF: Evan Mobley, Kevin Love, Dean Wade
C: Jarrett Allen, Robin Lopez, Isaiah Mobley
Per Spotrac, the Cavs' payroll now sits at $171.76 million for the 2022-23 season after the addition of Mitchell. The team is well over the max cap of $123.66 million.
The addition of Mitchell creates big expectations for Cleveland, as he's joining a talented roster that includes 2022 All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen. Second-year forward Evan Mobley finished as the runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting last season after establishing himself as one of the best young defensive big men in the NBA.
Mitchell was selected to his third consecutive All-Star Game last year and averaged 25.9 points, 5.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. While he was efficient with a 44.8 field-goal percentage, he struggled from the outside and shot 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Pairing Mitchell with Garland creates one of the most dangerous backcourt duos in the league. Garland ranked sixth in the NBA with 8.6 assists per game to go with a career-best average of 21.7 points. He took over as Cleveland's No. 1 option on offense after Sexton was lost for the season because of a knee injury.
Now, Garland will have another star by his side as the Cavs continue their rise back to prominence.
Cleveland finished eighth in the East last year with a 44-38 record, a 22-win turnaround from the previous season. The Cavs' promising campaign ended with back-to-back losses in the play-in tournament, but it's clear that better days are ahead for the franchise.