How does the newly-acquired Donovan Mitchell fit with the Cavs?

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

On Thursday, Donovan Mitchell was reportedly traded from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Collin Sexton, Ochai Ogbaji, Lauri Markkanen, as well as a large amount of draft capital and two pick swaps. For the reported details, you can view more on those here.

Whether or not it’s a good trade is up for debate as many Cavs fans heavily believed in Sexton and his ability to help raise the Cavaliers to a level that they were before LeBron James left.

Donovan Mitchell is an incredibly talented guard who has thrived in his short career, making three All-Star games in his first five seasons and had a legit argument for Rookie of the Year back in 2018. Yes, Ben Simmons was a rookie.

Although, he does have a play style incredibly similar to the centerpiece of Cleveland’s trade package: Collin Sexton.

The upside of playing similarly to the polarizing guard is the fact that he fills many of the gaps in the team that they lacked when Darius Garland was on the bench.

Say what you want about this Cavaliers team last season, the offense ran through Darius Garland.

Nearly every scoring opportunity came from him, often sharing the court with Ricky Rubio or Rajon Rondo simply to keep other teams from double or triple-teaming him while keeping his elite scoring and playmaking abilities on the floor as much as possible.

It was noticeable when he sat, especially after a meniscus tear sidelined Collin Sexton for most of the season, which worsened even further following Rubio’s ACL tear.

Donovan Mitchell will be more than enough to cover up that weak spot. Often times while on the Jazz, he would take incredibly hefty scoring loads for long stretches of the season while the rest of the team struggled.

He likely will not need to carry as much of a load in Cleveland as the Cavs have a deeper roster and have a better group of scorers around him, going from Michael Conley, Jordan Clarkson, and Rudy Gobert to Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley.

Mitchell is a high-level shooting threat from the perimeter while also being one of the best slashers in the league with an insane vertical leap.

This would allow the Cavaliers to use him in a variety of ways on offense, especially in the fastbreak where they would also have the lob threats of Allen and Mobley as entirely valid options to go to.

Unfortunately, having a similar play style and build to Collin Sexton carries all of the negatives that came with him.

Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell are both ball-dominant guards who are… subpar on defense to put it mildly, bringing plenty of questions as to how they will be able to coexist on a roster.

At least with Sexton, many believed he would come off the bench and likely win the Sixth Man of the Year award. They definitely cannot do that with Mitchell.

For those who may have not been paying attention to the drama around the Cavaliers fanbase regarding Sexton, and there was a lot, there were many reasons that some fans did not believe he was the best option for the team.

All of which also correlate with Mitchell.

Neither Garland nor Mitchell are even remotely good defensively. Mitchell has a little bit of potential but will likely never be too much more than a below average defender. Although, much of this will be covered up by the elite defense of Allen, Mobley, and Isaac Okoro.

Mitchell is also a player that demands a high usage rate due to his style of play and his sheer amount of talent.

This creates issues as Garland is another player who needs the ball in his hands as much as possible in order to get the best out of him.

In order to max out their potential, they will likely have to watch plenty of film of the Golden State Warriors offense featuring both Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole, two players who are incredibly similar in play style to each other as well as the Cavaliers backcourt.

Next. 3 realistic expectations for Cavs post-Mitchell trade. dark

If Donovan Mitchell is able to integrate his strengths into the Cavaliers offense while limiting his weaknesses as well, he would most definitely be a cornerstone piece for a championship, if not multiple.