So the band is staying together. Is that a good thing?
After an offseason of nonstop rumors, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was finally traded yesterday. Though his expected destination was the New York Knicks, Mitchell wound up joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps.
According to Wizards insider Quinton Mayo, Washington made an offer to Utah’s general manager Danny Ainge, the details of which are currently unknown.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Donovan Mitchell in a trade, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 1, 2022
The Wizards believe they are ‘firmly in the hunt’ for Donovan Mitchell, per @RealQuintonMayo— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) August 30, 2022
“There’s a package out there that they have given Danny Ainge that has them feeling like they’re still in the race and not far behind New York.”
(Via https://t.co/Z6X8ZlpGlS) pic.twitter.com/z1TeFwCIMs
We keep hearing that Washington’s L.A. mini camp last week was a success, but why?— Quinton Mayo (@RealQuintonMayo) August 30, 2022
My latest Wizards off-season intel on @SubstackInc has the answer.
+ Wiz comparing Rui to who?
+ Tommy Sheppard confident in Donovan Mitchell offer.
Watch (28 min): https://t.co/gxROScpmoD
With Bradley Beal’s massive new contract and the acquisition of Monte Morris and Will Barton this summer, it is clear the Wizards are aiming to compete now, and taking a big swing on Mitchell would have been a massive step toward competing. Though the defensive backcourt of Beal and Mitchell would certainly leave much to be desired, the combined offensive threat of the two guards would more than make up for their defensive deficiencies.
As it stands, the Wizards roster consists of Beal, an injury-prone Kristaps Porzingis, Corey Kispert, rookie Johnny Davis and a collection of role players. The addition of a star-level talent in Mitchell in exchange for a collection of assets and role players would have greatly aided in Washington’s quest for relevance.
It’s not like the Cavaliers’ offer priced the Wizards out of the Mitchell sweepstakes. Washington could have matched Cleveland’s draft pick haul while offering a better selection of players. Remember — Sexton, the most valuable player the Jazz acquired, was struggling all offseason to get a reasonable contract offer from any team.
The Wizards could have sent the Jazz Kispert, who has high upside as a 3-and-D player; Davis, a rookie selected higher than the rookie the Jazz received in the trade; an assortment of their deep roster of role players and the same number of first-round picks.
The fact that the Cavaliers got the trade done and the Wizards couldn’t says a lot about the risk-averse lack of aggression on the Wizards’ part.