It was clear the Jazz had an interest in moving Mitchell this offseason, especially after already trading Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves.
But, the Cavaliers came out of nowhere in pursuit of the all-star.
Most of the noise was that the New York Knicks were interested in Mitchell.
But, after they signed R.J. Barrett to an extension the Knicks no longer pursued Mitchell.
That opened the door for Cleveland and they jumped at the opportunity.
The Cavs have been stuck in a weird position ever since LeBron James left after the 17-18 season.
They were terrible for three seasons after James left, but they improved to 44-38 and were a borderline playoff team last year.
Cleveland has rebuilt their team through the draft and via trade.
Both Garland and Allen were all-stars last season and they have a bright future in Cleveland.
Evan Mobley is 21.
Isaac Okoro is 21.
Darius Garland is 22.
Jarrett Allen is 24.
Donovan Mitchell is 25.
That’s quite the core in Cleveland.
— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) September 1, 2022
LeVert has averaged at least 17 points per game each of the past three seasons.
Love is entering his age 34 season and has been a steady presence in that locker room.
While 2020 first-round pick, Okoro has struggled offensively in his young career but can defend.
The Cavaliers knew if they wanted to return to the playoffs for the first time since LeBron left, then they needed to add another star.
That is where Mitchell comes in.
After this trade, anything short of the playoffs will be unacceptable for the Cavs.
Eastern Conference Race
The Cavs made the play-in tournament last season but eventually lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the eighth-place game.
This season Cleveland looks to avoid the play-in tournament.
Where do they rank among the rest of the conference?
The teams that should be better than the Cavs are the Heat, Celtics, Bucks, and 76ers.
Has the eastern conference ever been this deep? Sheesh 😳 pic.twitter.com/rA4qZ83C8H
— The Lead (@TheLeadSM) September 1, 2022
That would put Cleveland in a battle for the fifth or sixth seed with the Nets, Raptors, Bulls, and Hawks.
Also, those three players and their personalities are bound to cause countless problems throughout the season.
The Raptors have a young roster with all-star Fred VanVleet leading the way.
All of those teams along with the Cavs have a chance to be anywhere from sixth in the East to ninth.
Health will be an obvious factor for all of these teams, but before the Mitchell trade, Cleveland was not in this discussion.
Most contenders need two or more all-stars and now the Cavaliers have that in Garland and Mitchell.
Cleveland has rebuilt this roster and it is time to see what they can accomplish.