NBA Rumors: Jazz Traded Donovan Mitchell to Cavs Instead of Knicks 'as Payback'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 5, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 23: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2022 at Vivint SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Swinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeff Swinger/NBAE via Getty Images

The Utah Jazz sent Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers "as payback" for wanting out, according to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports.

The New York native reportedly wanted a move to the New York Knicks, but Bucher reported Jazz officials "were not happy" with the three-time All-Star and instead traded him to a different spot.

Cleveland eventually acquired Mitchell in exchange for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji, plus three first-round draft picks and two pick swaps.

The Knicks had been heavily involved in trade talks for Mitchell, reportedly offering RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson and three unprotected first-round picks in exchange for the guard earlier in the offseason, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Tony Jones of The Athletic previously reported Mitchell didn't ask for a trade, but he did note the guard would prefer a move to the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets or Miami Heat if he was dealt.

From a basketball sense, Mitchell still ends up in a good location with a Cleveland squad that features exciting young players like Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. After falling short in the play-in tournament last season, the Cavs could be a scary team in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks have even more question marks, especially if they had included Barrett in the deal. The core of Mitchell, Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle still might not be enough to make the playoffs.

Utah still prevented Mitchell from playing close to home by sending him to Cleveland instead of New York.

Instead of rebuilding around Mitchell, who has three years remaining on his current contract, the Jazz have to start from scratch after also dealing away Rudy Gobert earlier in the offseason. The organization has a lot of future draft picks and some exciting young players, but no proven stars as it heads into 2022-23.