Cavs acquire three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly made a splash move!

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Cleveland has acquired three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz in exchange for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, 2022 first-round pick Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks, and two pick swaps.

Cleveland is sending its three unprotected picks to Utah in 2025, 2027, and 2029 and picks swaps in 2026 and 2028, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Sexton, a restricted free agent, is reportedly signing a four-year, $72 million deal with the Jazz. 

It appeared that the 25-year-old Mitchell would be traded to the Knicks, but the two teams could not reportedly come together on a deal.

Utah continues to rebuild, while the Cavs appear to be a team that’s going for it. Cleveland will have a very potent backcourt with All-Stars Mitchell and Darius Garland. They have an All-Star center in Jarrett Allen and a player that could be an All-Star in second-year forward Evan Mobley. In addition, Mitchell still has three years left on his contract, which is great. 

However, they gave up a lot of future assets. Plus, is there much difference between the backcourt of Sexton/Garland and Mitchell/Garland? Sexton(6-1), like Mitchell(6-1), can score the ball at a high level, and like Mitchell, they are both undersized shooting guards, so that could be something to pay attention to going forward. 

Last season, Cleveland went a surprising 44-38 and lost twice in the Play-In Tournament, which caused them to miss the playoffs. They wanted to take that next step; a move like this should go a long way in making that happen. 

Cleveland is definitely in the mix in the Eastern Conference. Not saying they are championship contenders, but on paper, they will be a tough out for anybody. 

Clearly, there has to be a lot of excitement in Cleveland, and there probably has not been this type of excitement since LeBron James left.

Let’s see what this looks like on the court. 

Cavs extend qualifying offer to Collin Sexton

The Cleveland Cavaliers have extended a qualifying offer to guard Collin Sexton, the team announced Tuesday.

Sexton, who appeared in 11 games (all starts) with the Cavaliers last season before missing the final 71 contests due to a left knee meniscus tear, is now a restricted free agent, which means the Cavs can match any offer made to him.

The 23-year-old Sexton finished the 2021-22 campaign with averages of 16.0 points, a career-high 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 0.91 steals in 28.7 minutes.

The market for the 6-1 guard should be interesting. The eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft has proven that he can score the basketball at a high level as he owns career averages of 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. 

This is a hunch, but based on how much he’s been around the team after the injury, it would appear that he would return to Cleveland. 

We shall see.

NBA free agency begins Thursday, June 30 at 6 PM ET.

Also, the team announced that they had extended a two-way contract qualifying offer to guard R.J. Nembhard, 

Nembhard, 23, who went undrafted out of Texas Christian University in 2021, originally signed a Two-Way contract with Cleveland on October 16 and appeared in 14 games for the Cavaliers this past season. He was converted to a standard NBA contract on March 31 and waived on April 7 before signing a second two-way contract with the Cavaliers on April 10.

Nembhard also played in 15 games (14 starts) for the Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team, averaging 24.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 38.4 minutes per contest.

Cavs’ Altman on team: ‘They captivated the city and put the league on notice’

On Tuesday, Cleveland Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman addressed the media at Cleveland Clinic Courts. The Cavs’ season ended at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Friday night as they fell to the Hawks in the Play-In Tournament.

“I’m still a little heartsick, to be honest with you,” Altman said about not making the playoffs. “It’s hard to process the season ending the way it did.”

J.B. Bickerstaff helped Cleveland improve by 22 wins from a year ago and finished the season 44-38, but despite the success, they fell short of the playoffs.

However, according to Atman, the Cavs have caught the attention of teams around the league.

“They captivated the city and put the league on notice, forced the league to put us on a national TV game because they had to, and more of that will come.”

Altman felt this season was a success, but Cleveland does have some questions, and one of the biggest questions is what will happen with Collin Sexton, who missed 71 games with a torn meniscus and can become a restricted free agent at season’s end if the Cavs extend a qualifying offer of $7.2 million.

The 23-year-old Sexton will probably be back in Cleveland next season based on what Altman said today.

“He, in a lot of ways, was the start of not only the rebuild, but the culture that we have in place now,” Altman said. “He’s enormously important to us. He’s been enormously important to us. To lose him, you can see throughout the year why we missed him, how we missed him, so we owe Collin a great deal of gratitude for the work he’s put in and continues to put in, (he) an important part of this team.”

Caris LeVert came over from the Pacers in a trade back in February. Altman believes both LeVert and Sexton, who have a similar skillset and play the same position, can thrive together in Cleveland.

“Yes, there’s a place for that level of talent, especially with the character that they bring and the fact that both really love it here,” Altman said.

It’s one thing to be a surprise team, but it’s another thing to win when the expectations are high, so the challenge for Altman and the players is to be even better next season.

“We’re not going to surprise teams next year,” Altman said. “I think we were two games out of being in sixth place. So like, it’s that close. We don’t want to lose grasp of what got us here, which is the hard work in the summer. We haven’t accomplished anything yet, so how do we keep that hunger, that humbleness, and attack this offseason?”

From top to bottom, the Eastern Conference will be tough next season, and Cleveland could be better next season and still be fighting to make the playoffs. They have a young, talented core.Obviously, they have three guys they can build around in All-Stars, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley.

In addition, they will have a lottery pick, so the future is very bright. However, sometimes that next step is the hardest step, and the Cavs are hoping to take that next step next season.

Sexton: ‘I love Cleveland; I want to be here’

Most of the 2021-22 NBA season for Collin Sexton was spent rehabbing his torn left meniscus, which he suffered in November. 

Sexton, who missed 71 games this season, spent most of his time in Atlanta rehabbing his knee. At this point, Sexton, who addressed the media on Saturday, says he does not have a timeline on when he will be healthy, but he expects to be ready by training camp.

“I’ll be ready for training camp for sure,” Sexton said.

The fourth-year guard can become a restricted free agent at season’s end if the Cavs extend a qualifying offer of $7.2 million.

According to Sexton, he would love to return to Cleveland. 

“I want to be here in Cleveland,” Sexton said. “I love the organization; I love my teammates… I know I want to continue to be a part of this winning culture and be a part of this culture. I feel like me just being able to be the start of it helped us get to where we are yesterday and where we are right now and in the present. I love Cleveland; I want to be here.”

The 23-year-old Sexton, who stayed connected with the team virtually before returning to Cleveland, says that not playing has helped him see the game differently, which will help him when he returns to the court. 

“When I do get back on the court, I’ll be able to see the game a lot better than I did before,” he said. “I’m using this time to my advantage.”

Sexton cheered his team on from the sideline, but according to him, the most challenging part was not being on the court with his teammates.

“I feel like that’s the toughest part, knowing that I can’t go to war with my team and go to war with my guys,” he said. “The only thing I can do is be the best cheerleader out there. but I couldn’t step in-between those lines and help any way possible, so whenever I seen something, I would be another coach on the bench, but it’s nothing like being out there on the court.”

At this point, it appears that Cleveland wants to bring him back. The former eighth overall pick spent a lot of time around the team. He can score at a high level, as we’ve seen last season, where he averaged a career-high 24.3 points on 48% shooting from the floor.

So much can happen from now until the summer. The two sides could not agree on a contract extension before the season, and it should be interesting to see if they will come to an agreement now. Sexton is now being represented by Klutch Sports.

The Cavs can match whatever contract a team offers Sexton, so Cleveland controls the situation.

In my opinion, the best role for Sexton is sixth man, especially with Caris LeVert on the roster. Sexton could be instant offense off the bench, while the 6-6 LeVert makes Cleveland’s big lineup even bigger, but again, the Cavs control the situation.

Watch below as Sexton talks return and more:


Cavs’ Sexton out for season with torn meniscus

Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton is out for the season with a torn left meniscus, the team announced on Friday night.

The fourth-year guard sustained a season-ending left knee injury earlier this month against the Knicks. According to the Cavs, Sexton underwent successful surgery in Atlanta on Wednesday to repair the meniscus tear.

Before the injury, Sexton, in 11 games, was averaging 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per contest.

Sexton, 22, hoped to get an extension this offseason, but the two sides could not agree. He will be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Hopefully, he can fully recover and put himself in a position to get a new contract with Cleveland or elsewhere.

Cavs’ Bickerstaff: ‘We know where we can go’

Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be for real. On Sunday night at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks(6-4), the Cavaliers got a fantastic performance from Ricky Rubio, who had a double-double with a career-high 37 points to go along with 10 assists, as Cleveland defeated New York 126-109.

The Cavs(7-4) have now won four straight, including three consecutive wins on the road.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Cleveland’s big win in New York City.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Ricky Rubio was excellent last night. Rubio scored 26 of his career-high 37 points in the second half and dished out 10 assists off the bench. Rubio was 13/19 from the field, including career-high eight threes on 8/9 from downtown. Rubio, who started the third quarter for an injured Collin Sexton, was 4/4 from downtown in the third quarter and scored 12 points, and he added 14 more points in the fourth. 

According to StatMuse, Rubio is the first player in NBA history with 30-plus points, 10-plus assists, eight-plus threes in a game off the bench.

-Rookie Evan Mobley was also excellent last night. In his debut at MSG, Mobley had a career-high 26 PTS (11-15 FG, 2-4 3FG), nine rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. According to the Cavs, he is the first rookie to record 26-plus points, nine-plus rebounds, five-plus assists, and 73% from the field in a single game since Blake Griffin.

-Jarrett Allen is earning all his money and then some. He scored 18 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds. Allen was also named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday for the first time in his career. During the Cavs’  winning streak, Allen is averaging 20.5 points on .633 shooting from the field, an NBA-best 16.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 37.0 minutes per contest. He was the only player in the NBA to average at least 20.0 points and 15.0 rebounds last week and had the highest field goal percentage among any NBA player who averaged 20 points or more.

-Darius Garland added 15 points(4/5 3PT) and dished out five assists.

-Third Quarter: Cleveland trailed 57-56 at halftime. However, they outscored New York 33 to 18 in the third quarter. The Cavaliers shot 57% from the field, including (6/7)85% from downtown. They held the Knicks to 32% shooting, including(1/9) 11% from three-point range. The Cavs took an 89-75 lead into the fourth.

Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

-Collin Sexton left in the second quarter with a knee injury, and on Monday, it was revealed that he had a meniscus tear in his left knee. At this point, he will undergo an additional evaluation, after which time his status will be updated.

-Cleveland had 17 turnovers on Sunday night. That number is too high, but they can worry about that another night.

Bottom Line:

The Cavaliers have beaten some good teams this season on the road, including wins over the Knicks, Nuggets, Raptors, and Clippers, which is impressive. Now, they have an opportunity to rack up some more wins as eight of their next nine games are at home. 

Hopefully, going forward, they can get Kevin Love(Health and Safety Protocols), Lauri Markkanen(Health and Safety Protocols), and Isaac Okoro(hamstring) back soon.

“We know where we can go,” Bickerstaff said. “There’s a depth to this team that we know we can get to. That’s all about the scrap. That’s how we turn it up.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland returns home Wednesday night against the Wizards.

Best of the Rest:

On Sunday night, the Knicks had six players in double figures led by Julius Randle, who scored 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists; Derrick Rose added 17 points and five assists.

Listen below as Mobley, Allen, and Rubio react to Cleveland’s win over the Knicks:

Cavs’ Mobley: ‘We’re getting more and more confident every game’

For forty-seven minutes and fifty-five seconds, the Cleveland Cavaliers trailed the Toronto Raptors. However, after Darius Garland was fouled driving to the basket with 04.8 seconds left, he made two free throws to give the Cavs a 102-101 lead. 

The Raptors(6-4) had one more chance, but OG Anunoby missed a turnaround shot, Scottie Barnes missed a tip-in, and Cleveland held on to win 102-101 at Scotiabank Arena.

Cleveland(6-4) has now won three straight and six out of their last eight, and they snapped Toronto’s five-game winning streak. 

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Toronto.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Cleveland had five players in double-figures led by Darius Garland. The third-year guard got it done in the second half. He scored 17 of his team-high 21 points, including 12 in the fourth. He also added a team-high eight assists, and of course, he hit the game-winning free throws.  

-Jarrett Allen continues to play well. Allen had a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, to go along with two steals, and a block. Allen even made bank-shot three late in fourth with the shot clock winding down that tied the game at 94. During Cleveland’s three-game win streak, he is averaging 21.3 points (.676 FG%), 16.0 rebounds, 1.33 steals, and 1.67 blocks per game.

-Evan Mobley was stellar on Friday night as he went up against Toronto’s rookie sensation Scottie Barnes. Mobley had 18 points, five rebounds, and two assists.

After 10 games, Mobley has been outstanding. 

He has registered 138 points, 79 rebounds, 23 assists, 10 steals, and 14 blocks. According to The Athletic, only three other players in NBA history have recorded such minimums in their first ten career games: Lamar Odom, Mychal Thompson, Bill Walton.

-Cedi Osman has been great off Cleveland’s bench, and he was excellent against Toronto. He scored 17 points, including five three-pointers. Osman is shooting 59%(13/22) from downtown during Cleveland’s three-game winning streak.

Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

-Collin Sexton struggled on Friday night. He finished 4/17 from the field with nine points.

Turnovers: While Cleveland continues to win, they have to do a better job protecting the ball. The Cavs had 19 turnovers against Toronto.

Bottom Line:

Cleveland did not play their best basketball on Friday night, but a good team finds a way to win games when they are not at their best, so maybe the Cavs are turning into a good team. In addition, good teams win on the road, and after ten games, Cleveland is 4-3 on the road. What makes this win even more impressive is they are missing three key players in Lauri Markkanen(Health and Safety Protocols), Kevin Love(Health and Safety Protocols), and Isaac Okoro(hamstring).

“We’re getting more and more confident every game,” Mobley said. “The chemistry is building every game.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland travels to New York to battle the Knicks on Sunday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Anunoby led Toronto with 23 points; Fred VanVleet had 18 points, six assists, and six rebounds; Barnes had 14 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, and Gary Trent Jr. chipped in with 17.

-Cleveland’s Ricky Rubio had 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

-Cleveland leads the NBA in contested shots(570) and have two players in the top five in that category.

NBA LEADERS – TOTAL CONTESTED SHOTS (as of Saturday 11/6/21) 



3. G.Antetokounmpo 115

4. M.Bamba 110

5. D.Sabonis 109

Listen below as Mobley, Garland, and Allen react to win over Raptors:

Cavs’ Allen: ‘We’re having fun and we’re playing the right way’

Coming off a 3-2 road trip, the Cleveland Cavaliers were happy to be back at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Wednesday night against the Blazers(3-5).

Cleveland led by as many as 11 points in the fourth. However, Portland cut it to one with over eight minutes left.  The Cavaliers never surrendered the lead and survived after Damian Lillard missed a game-tying three at the buzzer to defeat Portland 107-104 for their second straight win.

After starting 0-2, Cleveland(5-4) has won five of their last seven.

The Cavs had six players in double figures for the second game in the row.

Here is the Great, Not the Great, and Bottom Line of Cleveland’s win over the Blazers.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Jarrett Allen again was huge for the Cavaliers. He had team-highs in points(24) and rebounds(17). Allen made plays in the paint and scored eight straight points for the Cavs in the fourth after the Blazers cut the lead to one.

Allen had 24 points and 16 rebounds against Charlotte on Monday night.

-Darius Garland had a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists. The third-year guard was 5/6 from three-point range. Cleveland had 29 assists on Wednesday night

-Evan Mobley recorded his second consecutive double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. According to the Cavs, Mobley became just the fifth Cavs rookie since 2002-03 to accomplish that feat. In addition, Mobley had a block, and it was a big block on Lillard late in the fourth quarter.

Mobley is the only rookie with three double-doubles this season.

-Collin Sexton, the team’s leading scorer, had an efficient night as he went 8/13 from the field and finished 21 points.

-Cleveland shot 53% from the field and 15-30 from downtown on Wednesday night, both season-highs. 

-Dylan Windler and Cedi Osman were huge off the Cavs’ bench. Windler had 13 points, including 3/3 from three-point range, while Osman added 12 points with four threes.

Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

Cleveland had 19 turnovers on Wednesday night, which led to 31 Blazer points. 

Bottom Line:

The Cavaliers may have turned the corner after starting the season 0-2. The five-game road trip has given this team a lot of confidence. Without Lauri Markkanen(Health & Safety Protocols), Kevin Love(Health & Safety Protocols), and Isaac Okoro(hamstring), other players stepped up. Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has the team playing with much energy and effort.

“We’re having fun and we’re playing the right way,” Allen said. “We’re just going out and playing basketball together.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland goes back on the road to battle the Raptors on Friday night.

Best of the Rest:

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 26 points on 10/27 shooting; Norman Powell scored 23 points, and C.J. McCollum added 21 points.

Sexton, Garland, and Allen react to win over Blazers:

Cavs’ Allen: ‘We want people to look at us and say, ‘We need to bring our A game’

Winning on the road is always tricky in the NBA and even more difficult for a young team. However, on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers(4-4) ended their successful road trip with a victory.

The Cavaliers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 113-110 at Spectrum Center to end their five-game road trip 3-2. 

Cleveland led by as many as 19 points on Monday night, including a season-high 40-point first quarter. The Cavaliers had six players in double figures. Charlotte(5-3) got back into the game and threatened late, but it wasn’t enough.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Hornets.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Jarrett Allen set the tone for Cleveland on Monday night. He led the Cavaliers with a team-high 24 points(9/13 FG) and a game-high 16 rebounds. Allen had 15 points in the first quarter, which is a new career-high in points in a quarter. 

-Evan Mobley finished the five-game road trip on a high note after scoring only two points against Phoenix on Saturday night. The rookie had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Mobley also added two steals and a block.

First-quarter: Cleveland scored a season-high 40 points in the quarter. They shot 51% from the field. They forced eight Hornets’ turnovers, which led to 12 Cleveland points.

-Lauri Markkanen had season-highs in points(21) and blocks(3). He also grabbed eight rebounds against Charlotte, and while he did not shoot(7/19 FG) it well on Monday, he did impact the game in other areas.

-Cedi Osman was great for the Cavs off the bench. He scored 13 points(4/5 from three-point range). Cleveland needed others to step up without Kevin Love(Health & Safety Protocols) and Isaac Okoro(hamstring), and Osman did just that.

-Defense: Cleveland set season highs in steals (12) and blocks (8). 

Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

-Cleveland had 16 turnovers against Charlotte. The Cavs have to do a better job of protecting the ball.

Bottom Line:

What an excellent trip for Cleveland. They beat three playoff teams from a year ago(Hornets, Clippers, Nuggets) and were in a position to beat the Lakers and Suns. On paper, you thought the Cavs would maybe get one game on this trip, but they got three wins, and now they go home happy.

“Over the past few years it’s been like, ‘Oh, it’s the Cavs, it’s an off night.’ I’m just being honest, that’s how people looked at us,” Allen said. “But know we want people to look at us and say, ‘We need to bring our A game.'”

What’s next:

The Cavaliers head home to battle the Blazers on Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Collin Sexton had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Darius Garland added 16 points, four assists, and three steals.

Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball had 30 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, and Terry Rozier had 23 and six rebounds.

Cavs’ Mobley: ‘I feel like I’m pretty ahead of schedule so far’

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ three-game winning streak was snapped on Friday night as they fell to LeBron James and the Lakers 113-101 at Staples Center.

The game was tied at 54 at halftime, but the Lakers(3-3) pulled away in the fourth quarter to get the victory.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cleveland’s loss to the Lakers.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Evan Mobley is the real deal. The rookie had a team-high 23 points and snatched six rebounds, and three assists in a team-high 36 minutes of action. This kid does not appear to get rattled, and according to him, he’s ahead of schedule, which could be scary for the rest of the league.

“I feel like I’m getting adjusted to the NBA pretty fast,” Mobley said postgame. “I feel like I’m pretty ahead of schedule so far.”

-Darius Garland had a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists(six turnovers). It was Garland’s second double-double of the season. 

-Lauri Markkanen had a season-high 17 points(7/14 FG) on Friday night, which included a season-high three three-pointers. Markkanen has struggled with his shot(30.5 FG%) thus far this season, so it’s good to see him put the ball in the basket.

-Ricky Rubio continues to bring it every night. He had 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists off the bench. What an acquisition for this team.  It’s early, but if Rubio keeps playing at this level, he could be in the discussion for Sixth-Man of the Year.

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

-Fourth-quarter: Cleveland trailed 88-85, heading into the fourth quarter. However, they went completely cold in the fourth. They shot 4/18(22%) from the field and were outscored 25-16 in the quarter. The Cavs took their last lead of 91-90 with just under eight minutes left, but the Lakers would go on a 10-0 run, and Cleveland never threatened after that.

-Defense: One of the reasons Cleveland won three straight was their defense. The Cavaliers held teams below 90 points and below 410% shooting from the floor in those three wins. However, the Lakers scored 113 points with 55% shooting. Los Angeles also had 60 points in the paint.

-After scoring 26 points against the Clippers on Wednesday night, Collin Sexton, the team’s leading scorer, was a non-factor against Los Angeles. He scored 9 points on 2/9 shooting.

Bottom Line:

This was not a bad loss for the Cavs. They competed against the Lakers, who you knew would be tough to beat after their loss to the Thunder on Wednesday. In addition, Cleveland kept it close and even had a lead in the fourth. The Cavs can hold their heads up high after this loss.

What’s Next:

Cleveland(3-3) continues their five-game road trip as they travel to Phoenix to battle the Western Conference Champions, the Suns(1-3), on Saturday night; Phoenix, who has lost two straight, is 0-2 at home this season.

Best of the Rest:

In his return from an ankle injury, LeBron James led the Lakers with 26 points, eights assists, and three rebounds; Carmelo Anthony added 24 points, including six three-pointers off the bench.

Watch below as Mobley, Rubio, and Markkanen react to loss against Lakers: