Regrading the Donovan Mitchell-Lauri Markkanen trade

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers and Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images /

The Jazz’s Grade

Regarding the trade for Utah, Markkanen is a 7-foot three-level assassin who just entered his prime and won the league’s Most Improved Player Award. He was 16th in total points scored and 29th in rebounding. He also gets fouled on 13.3% of his attempts, putting him in the 81st percentile for forwards, per Cleaning the Glass (subscription required).

One of Markkanen’s most admired habits is his willingness to catch a body at the rim, big or small. He has guard skills, too, handling after the catch in the halfcourt or in transition. His versatility could get him minutes at both forward spots and center.

Sexton competed in 48 games last season, but he wasn’t himself yet in his first campaign back from a left meniscus tear 11 games into 2021-2022. Despite a recovering year plagued with an injury bug, he could still create separation with his first step and finished well in the paint non-restricted area and the midrange. Sexton is a nice adrenaline shot off the bench for any squad.

Ogbaji suited up 59 nights, averaging 20.5 minutes per game on a rebuilding team. He is a promising shooting guard who runs the open court well and puts pressure on defenses by moving without the ball and canning a decent clip from deep (35.5).

The Jazz got a certified building block for the future, two nice players and a stash of draft capital. Those picks are unprotected, so Cleveland can’t afford to have injury-filled years then and miss the postseason. The deal is as good as it gets in return for a star player.

Jazz Grade: A+

Anything below an A+ is unfair, and next year, the minimum expectations for the group should be a Play-In appearance.